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Carmakers say 'no' to price cuts

Manufacturers will resist Government calls for a cut in new car prices and reject key proposals in Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers' response to the Competition Commission inquiry.

Christopher Macgowan, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive, speaking at the AM online sister publication Automotive Management prices report breakfast briefing, said his members were finding it difficult to “see where the scope for price cutting comes from”.

Alan Pulham, National Franchised Dealers Association director, accused carmakers of “going round in circles”. Several dealer group chiefs called for immediate action on new car prices.

Macgowan said the Competition report was fair but SMMT members “would be apoplectic” if some of the main proposals were “deemed to be appropriate”. He said the proposal for volume discounts was the key issue in the whole report. “There is no such thing as a fleet price list and no way of establishing what is a fleet price,” he said.

Macgowan said his members would be “bitterly opposed” to abolishing volume bonuses for dealers.

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