Fleet News

Mercedes' list price cuts spark price reviews

BMW and Audi are 'reviewing the situation' after fellow German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz became the first volume prestige marque to cut its official list prices by between 9% and 20%.

The manufacturer has confirmed that European parity will mean price rises in some other markets on the continent.

BMW and Audi in the UK have been affected to a far lesser extent by right-hand-drive imports from Europe and neither is expected to make a knee-jerk reaction. Both say their market position remains competitive.

With Ford behind it, Jaguar is probably best placed to made a snap decision, but the Coventry-based company said: 'Jaguar is already good value for money and the Mercedes-Benz situation hasn't changed that.'

Saab and Volvo said they were watching the situation but neither was considering cuts.

Company car drivers will benefit from Mercedes price reductions in terms of lower benefit-in-kind tax bills, and the motor industry's leading analysts, CAP Motor Research and Glass's, agree the effect on residual values - which have fallen by 5% in the last three months and almost 13% in a year - will be negligible.

Black Book senior editor Darren Wiseman said the Mercedes cut simply meant there would be less discounting while Adrian Rushmore, Glass's Guide chief car editor, said the effect on late used car prices would be negative but probably not severe: 'What it could have is a snowball effect on other manufacturers, for whom doing nothing is not an option.'

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