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Branson takes centre stage at EC Block Exemption review

Today Sir Richard Branson went before the European Commission as the self professed champion of the British car buyer.

He, together with Ian Lancaster, chief executive of Virgin Cars, went before the commission to voice what they said was the views of non-traditional and internet new car retailers in the review of Block Exemption that began this morning.

Sir Richard said: “Because of the regulations set by the European Commission, we have to source new cars through dealer networks, not from manufacturers direct.

“If we can source cars directly from manufacturers, without any restrictions, we will be able to offer even better deals to our customers.”

He said Virgin Cars could save a further 10% buying direct. He added the EC investigation demonstrated a recognition that the internet was a viable means of buying a new car.

“We welcome the findings of the commission report (November 2000) into new car sales which concludes that the current governing rules do not support a modern, free market that would benefit the consumer,” Sir Richard said.

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