French dealers heavily affected by Mercedes ban in France

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 5, 2013

Dealers are now feeling the effect of the move by the French government to ban in its territory the sales of Mercedes-Benz cars that employ an air-conditioner refrigerant banned by the European Union. Mercedes dealer Oussama Kaddoura told Reuters that the decision of France to ban those units does not only prevent him from delivering cars already on order, but also deters customers from going to his showroom in east Paris.

Kaddoura remarked to Reuters that the dispute that broke out in July after France declined to register A-class, B-class and CLA-class models built since mid-June is “all over the media." Kaddoura, whose Groupe Como operates two other showrooms in the Paris suburbs, remarked that has had to stop delivery of 37 cars, which will increase by four to five cars a day.

Kaddoura said that with his sales staff being paid partly on a commission basis, he, as well as other dealers, has to give advances to help them pay their bills by the end of the month. Likewise, customers who have already ordered their Mercedes units cannot receive their vehicles until France lifts it ban.

According to Kaddoura, he is either lending those customers with a substitute vehicle or offering other sweeteners to prevent them from cancelling their order.

Kaddoura quipped to Reuters that he is trying to protect the image of Mercedes in France and find solutions for their customers. He is, however, concerned about what will happen if the situation goes on as he cannot lend out 400 cars. He remarked that a customer will not risk placing an order when there is a chance that the unit won’t be delivered. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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