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Network furious over Mercedes outlet cuts

Mercedes-Benz dealers in the UK are protesting over plans by the manufacturer to cut the network by around 40%.

DaimlerChrysler UK has given 12 months notice to all 156 dealerships and plans, by the end of this month, to inform the groups it will offer new agreements.

A meeting of the Mercedes dealer council has been called for Tuesday, January 16, and manufacturer executives are expected to be barred.

Disgruntled dealers have been liaising through a website:

Wm Jacks has been informed it will lose its Mercedes dealerships at Sunningdale and Newbury inBerkshire. They are believed to have a combined turnover of around £30m.

DaimlerChrysler has not revealed its plans, though dealers are speculating over a possible Daewoo-style manufacturer-owned network.

Other possibilities are awarding major territories to a few selected dealer groups or focusing on online sales.

One Mercedes dealer said: "The arrogance of the manufacturer is beyond belief. It is a tragedy for dealers with small businesses who have done a good job for Mercedes and will lose their livelihoods."

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