Fleet News

Byers hints at price cuts

CONSUMERS look set to win the battle over new car pricing within the next few days after Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers gave the strongest hint yet that he has accepted the findings of the Competition Commission's report. He told the Commons on Monday he would respond to the report by Easter and said: 'We will put the interests of consumers first for the simple reason that strong and assertive consumers build strong companies.'

Byers is under no obligation to implement the report, but there is speculation it suggests scrapping recommended retail prices, as predicted by Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, Ian McAllister Byers' comments coincide with a last stand being made by manufacturers to hammer home they are not to blame for UK car prices.

Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said currency fluctuation and taxation differences were to blame and not greed on the part of suppliers.

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