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Dermot Kelly urged to 'come clean' on MB-UK shake-up

Mercedes-Benz UK dealers are demanding Dermot Kelly, passenger car director, to 'come clean' on key statements made on the planned network shake-up.

Following Wednesday's meeting of Mercedes-Benz UK dealers, which saw a unanimous vote in favour of taking taking DaimlerChrysler UK to court over the "unlawful" termination of all 156 dealerships, the dealers urged Mr Kelly to give explanations on the following issues.

A statement from the dealers asks:

  • "Since being forced to lower car prices in the UK market in September last year, dealers learnt last week that that there is to be a price hike on all Mercedes cars in April. Isn't it the case that DaimlerChrysler UK are looking to recoup lost revenues in reaction to the price climb-down last year?
  • "You have said that you will be controlling only 40% of the market in the UK. Isn't it the case that 40% will come from just the three experience centres that you plan to open in London, Birmingham and Manchester? Isn't it the case that should these plans be permitted you will be ending real competition, and therefore control the market and therefore control prices?
  • "You say that there will be more dealerships. But isn't the reality that many of these will no longer be showrooms where customers will be able to receive competitive quotes from Mercedes-Benz dealers?
    Isn't the reality that customers will no longer enjoy the excellent levels of service when customer satisfaction indicators show that company owned outlets consistently under-perform the franchised dealers that you have now sacked?
    How are dealers to reconcile the recent blanket termination of dealerships with his May 200 declaration to the dealers, repeated in a letter dated 8th June 2000, in which he stated: "We will not be issuing block exemption termination letters".

    "We challenge Mr Kelly to respond to these statements around these vital issues. We want him to deny the price rise, we want him to justify his statement that DaimlerChrysler UK will only control 40% of the market.

    "We invite him to publish the customer satisfaction surveys and we want him to come clean about his comments made in that letter he distributed to all dealers in June," said Nick Adams, dealer campaign spokesman.

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