Fleet News

Report brings fears for servicing

A SERVICING crisis could be created for fleets by recommendations in the Competition Commission's New Cars Inquiry report which, it is feared, could wipe out part of the country's dealer network. A call in the report for dealers to receive the same bulk buying discounts as fleets would discriminate against small dealerships, which would be unable to compete on price against larger, city-based sites.

The result could leave a sparse network of large dealerships in cities, while all non-city based fleets were starved of the necessary service levels they needed to work efficiently. Robert Constant, managing director of Constant Consultancy Services, speaking at the Association of Car Fleet Operators southern region meeting, warned: 'Dealers give away their entire discount to the customer to win business, so if one dealer is obtaining a 30% discount and another a 10% discount, then it is obvious where buyers will go.

'Even if the fleet is in Wales or Scotland and the dealer is in Birmingham, then they will still go there. Small dealerships will slowly disappear, leaving a spartan service network, and then fleets will not have the service support they need. Fleet service could suffer if the smaller dealerships closed down.'

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