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MB-UK price rises "an insult" that weakens battle against grey imports

Mercedes-Benz's decision to increase list prices is "stifling" its dealers' ability to compete against unofficial importers.

Price monitor Car Price Check (www.carpricecheck.com) said the price rise of 2% across the range, has damaged dealers' effort to combat the rising tide of unofficial Mercedes imports.

Steve Evans, chief executive officer of Autohit, operator of Car Price Check, said: "Whether it is simply coincidence, since DaimlerChrysler UK announced its decision to terminate the Mercedes network, UK model availability in the short and medium term appears to have been scaled back and discounts have reduced, thwarting dealers' sales efforts and making the wait for a European sourced vehicle appear again to be a more attractive option for the private consumer."

He said the price differential, which was beginning to be eroded by price reductions, is now "back with a vengeance".

MB-UK dealers fighting DaimlerChrysler's decision to terminate its dealer contracts say the price rises "add insult to injury".

Nick Adams, spokesman for the Mercedes-Benz Dealers' Campaign, which is fighting the manufacturer's termination decision, said the intent appeared to be to stifle competition and control the market.

"Not only are they terminating the whole UK franchise network, but they now have the audacity to raise prices only several months after we had managed to force price reductions for our customers," he said.

Campaigning dealers are taking their cause to DaimlerChrysler's AGM on Wednesday, where they will raise awareness of the damage done to the Mercedes brand in the UK by its actions.

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