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Dixon abolishes 'fantasy pricing'

Dixon Motors has become the first AM100 group to abandon manufacturers' “fantasy” lists in favour of its own pricing scheme.

The Dixon Real Price List offers “cars based on the real selling price taken from the past couple of monthly sales figures”, said the company.

The scheme, launched on 800 popular models at the start of the month, will eventually cover all Dixon's vehicles, including Ford, Renault, Rover, Vauxhall and VW, with savings up to 30% off list.

Dixon reported more than 220 enquiries in the first six days, with “the majority” converted into sales. Manufacturers are said to be “relaxed” about its stance. Chief executive Paul Dixon believed the Real Price List would enable customers to favourably compare his prices with those offered by parallel and internet importers.

“The existence of these fantasy prices has been one of the main factors in the growth of personal imports from Europe,” he said. “This situation has been exaggerated by brokers who compare the top line manufacturers' list price against their own basic price offering.

“Our aim is to promote real transaction prices, comparable with Europe and better value than many new entrants' offers. We believe this will encourage potential customers to enter the market.”

Under the scheme, customers can access regularly updated transaction prices on the Dixon website - Alternatively they can confirm the latest prices at a Dixon showroom or call a customer hotline.

Each car comes with a price promise to protect customers against daily fluctuations. If the price rises between order and delivery, the customer is charged the agreed amount. But if the price falls, the customer pays the lower cost.

Dixon's plan to offer lower prices had been thwarted by carmakers' restrictive advertising conditions, said Mr Dixon. But with Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers considering an end to recommended retail prices, the dealer group is sure its move supports any Government's action.

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