European Union Finds That Car Prices Car Prices Vary Up To 40% Across Europe – Brief Article – Statistical Data Included
The European Union said auto prices vary by as much as 40 percent across the 15-nation bloc countries. Consumers face high pre-tax prices in Britain, Germany and Austria and get the best deals in Spain, Greece and Finland, the Commission’s survey of data from 24 car makers showed.
Competition Commissioner Mario Monti, who recently proposed new rules to help solve price differences, said the survey “confirms that there is significant room for improving market conditions”.
The Commission said the most extreme price difference was a 41 percent pre-tax discrepancy for a four-door 1.6 liter Opel Vectra. It cost 16,847 euros ($14,574) in Germany compared with 11,946 euros ($10,334) in Finland. After taxes, however, the price is lower in Germany because of higher taxes in Finland. The second-biggest differential was 37 percent for the Opel Corsa, selling for 8,942 euros ($7,735) in Germany but 6,531 euros ($5,650) in Portugal and roughly the same in Denmark. Next in line was a Volkswagen Golf, selling for 8,940 euros ($7,733) in Finland, but 35 percent more at 12,026 euros ($10,403) in Germany and roughly the same in Britain.
All the data released by the EC was based on a survey of manufacturers’ suggested prices as of November 1, 2001. Britain had the highest pre-tax prices for 52 of the 80 models surveyed for the report. “This market (Britain) continues to be the most expensive,” it noted. British car buyers also face hardship if they try to get a bargain by purchasing on the Continent, the Commission said. British consumers have complained to the Commission that car makers tack on huge supplements for right-hand drive cars and they find they must wait a long time for delivery. Monti said he plans to investigate such practices.
The Commission has already proposed wide-ranging reforms to the rules for car sales and repair, when the current framework expires at the end of September. The new proposed rules are aimed at allowing consumers to buy cars more easily from other countries with lower prices, giving them more choice of repairers, permitting dealers to open up showrooms and sell anywhere in the EU and taking steps to foster Internet and supermarket retailing. The Commission will decide later this year whether to adopt the rules.
The Consumers’ Association in Britain, which has applauded the proposed changes, said the latest survey showed that “car manufacturers are making their last-gasp attempt to sell overpriced cars because they know that come October they will have to revolutionize the way they sell cars”
COPYRIGHT 2002 International Trade Services
COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group