Fleet News

Fleet fears over pricing report

SMALLER manufacturers could pull out of the fleet market altogether and fleet discounts could be slashed if recommendations in the Competition Commission's New Cars Inquiry report are given the green light by the Government. At a conference on the report, organised by Automotive Management, a print sister publication to Fleet NewsNet aimed at dealerships, industry leaders warned of potentially damaging fall-out for fleets from the report.

The GE Capital Woodchester sponsored event was held just a week after the launch of the 700-plus page document setting out the future for the motor industry in the UK which recommended that retailers are allowed the same bulk discount terms as fleets. Adrian Grace, marketing director for industry finance house GE Capital Woodchester, agreed with dealers in the audience of more than 100 industry leaders which claimed fleet discounts were 'too high and 'insane'.

He said: 'Our own fleet business is poring over the report and there will be effects on fleet prices. I think they will have to go up for retail prices to come down. There will be a rebalancing of the two prices. This will coincide with further consolidation in the manufacturing sector.' But Chris Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: 'We are already seeing price reductions for consumers now. I don't see how the Government will achieve its aim of driving prices down by making this snap-decision. It is just not possible to adjust prices x and y. There are too many dynamics involved and I do not think there will be a dramatic shift in prices.'

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