Audi says it is considering taking legal action against Showroom4cars.com over allegations that the manufacturer is obstructing the supply of cars to its European dealers, ordered by UK customers through its website.
Yesterday Showroom4cars.com said it was experiencing delivery delays on vehicles from its supplying dealers in Sweden, Holland and Belgium caused deliberately by Audi's parent company, the Volkswagen Group.
But an Audi UK spokesman dismissed the allegations. “Showroom4cars.com is not the first internet operator to make bald claims or actionable allegations. But the reality is there are no restrictions being put on supply. The group would be stupid to fall foul of EC law after being fined a huge amount of money in the past.
“Our legal people are considering what action to take, if any, in regard to these claims.”
The Volkswagen Group has been fined twice by the European Commission, most recently this year when it was fined £18.65m for “serious infringement” of competition rules relating to the introduction of a new VW Passat in 1996. Three years ago, Volkswagen was fined £61.3m for preventing customers in Germany and Austria from buying in Italy.The fine was later reduced to £57m.
Showroom4cars says it will lodge its complaint withn the Department of Trade and Industry and the European Commission competition commissioner Mario Monti.