Its franchised dealer director Alan Pulham said: 'It is a great shame that it has come to this but the dealers were left with no alternative. DaimlerChrysler UK refused to come to the table for a serious and constructive discussion, despite opportunities to do so. It is vital for the future of the whole of the UK dealer system that this matter is resolved as soon as possible.'
A spokesman for DaimlerChrysler said: 'We took the very best legal advice we had at the time when this was first mooted and our expert opinion all along was that we were acting correctly in the terms of the contract. We have continued to talk to dealers and we are equally sorry it has resulted in court action. What we are planning is in the interests of the customers, dealers and the future of Mercedes-Benz and under our proposals, two thirds of dealerships will still be run independently.'