Fleet News

Citroen MD in price rise warning

Citroen managing director Claude Satinet has warned that new car prices could rise by as much as 50% in countries like Denmark if the European Commission is successful in its attempt to harmonise pre-tax prices across Europe.

Satinet said individual country governments must alter their taxation levels accordingly if the EC's objective is to succeed and benefit the consumer.

'I am sure the Commission will succeed in its aim of having a common level of pricing in the Euro land,' Satinet said during an exclusive interview.

'Having the same price level will mean more increases in prices than reductions across Europe. The average price is very near to the French or German level. Where there is a low pre-tax price level in, for example, Denmark, prices will increase.'

Satinet stressed that 'no carmaker will be able to reduce their prices'.

'The idea that manufacturers could bring the level down to the Danish pre-tax price is just not possible,' he said. 'The Commission wants to reduce prices across the whole of Europe, and that is also not possible.'

Satinet said manufacturers adapt their prices according to each individual country's tax situation. High taxes in Denmark, for example, mean manufacturers lower the pre-tax price of a car to make it affordable for the Danish motorist.

'We are responding to massive tax differences - the Commission does not seem to understand that,' he added.

'If countries do not change their tax charges then some people will pay more — in Denmark it could be as much as 50%.'

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