Fleet News

European backing for Mercedes dealers in franchise court fight

THE new chairman of Europe's Mercedes-Benz dealers is claiming that the company's fleet customers will not be better off under the restructured network. John Graves, president of Mercedes' UK Dealer Council, was elected chairman of the European Federation of Mercedes Dealers last week.

He said the support of his European colleagues was important in the UK dealers' campaign against changes to the network. He said: 'I don't think the European dealers would have got behind me if they were not concerned. Their biggest fear is that it could spread across the rest of Europe and affect them.'

Mercedes dealers are taking legal action against DaimlerChrysler following the company's decision to terminate its 159 franchises and set up Mercedes-Benz experience centres in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Dealers have decided to fight the action in court.

Meanwhile, Chrysler Jeep dealers in the UK claim the troubled American car giant wields unnecessary control and has a poor commitment to marketing according to the Retail Motor Industry Federation's latest dealer attitude survey. The survey suggests that Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler dealers have become more cynical about the value of holding their franchise.

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