Mercedes-Benz decision to take control and ownership of all dealerships in the
Greater London, Birmingham and Manchester areas, together with a significant price
increase for right-hand drive ‘grey’ imports sourced from European dealers, effectively
means price control by the manufacturer,’ claims Alan Pulham, franchised dealer
director of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI).

“In my view, this has to be extremely bad news for Mercedes customers throughout
the UK. Inter-dealer competition will become ineffective and the lower prices
sought through the Government’s DTI [Department of Trade and Industry] order
are unlikely to be realised,” he said. UK vehicle importers were recently ordered
by the government to offer retail dealers the same discounts for volume purchases
available to fleet buyers.

Independent Mercedes dealers, all of whom have recently received termination
notices effective in a year or so, plan legal action with the Retail Motor Industry
Federation’s assistance, Pulham added.