New car prices could go up as credit crunch bites
Car sales are slipping as the credit crunch starts to bite and carmakers are warning that could lead to price rises.
Manufacturers at the London Motor Show said a discount war to try and move the metal is unlikely as profit margins are being squeezed by rising raw material costs and oil prices.
Simon Thomas, European sales chief for Nissan, said he believed that the industry would see price inflation.
“Manufacturers are under huge strain, the cost of materials is going up as are fuel and logistics prices and not everyone will be able to absorb this,” said Thomas.
“The costs will have to be passed on to the customers.
“Putting up prices may seem an illogical thing to do when the industry is trying to encourage more sales but I think it could happen.”
His views were echoed by General Motors UK chairman and managing director Bill Parfitt who said: “There is a lot of pressure on the industry and while we may see some discounting on a small scale, prices are more likely to move up as raw material costs increase.”
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