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Gilda attacks French over 'selling in bulk'

Scotland's leading Ford dealer has attacked the “discount-led” success of manufacturers such as Renault and Citroen, claiming they do not honour the “gentlemen's agreement” which followed last year's price changes.

Brian Gilda, Peoples managing director, said at the Scottish motor show: “Ford, like the rest of the industry, realigned its pricing last October to try to make pricing more transparent.

“We've also played a straight bat in terms of the rules and regulations laid down by the Government and some other manufacturers have interpreted it differently.

“They appear to be selling in bulk, and some of the savings are being passed on to consumers. We are having to tackle it in a different manner and my view is that we should tackle it head on.

“The pricing formula used by some European manufacturers is disguising the true value of the product. Ford, by comparison, is playing it straight and we're still managing to be market leader despite that.”

Mr Gilda said Ford dealers needed to convince their manufacturer of the need “to attack the market as hard and aggressively as other European manufacturers”.

Scottish dealers are offering a customised special offer this month and in December targeted on the Fiesta Flight and Focus CL.

Mr Gilda said the market in Scotland was as difficult as two years ago, adding: “Ford came through it then and I've no doubt we will do so again. We remain market leaders in Scotland and I see us maintaining that position.”

A Renault UK spokesman said: “Our performance reflects the popularity of our cars with private buyers in Scotland where the market is not influenced by bulk fleet purchases which drive Ford's market share in England.

“Clio is Scotland's best-selling car and I'm sure Ford dealers can't wait for the long overdue Fiesta replacement.”

A Citroen UK spokesman said: “We're doing nothing contrary to the letter or spirit of the law. Our prices are totally transparent and we have increased sales by 60% this year.”

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