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Fiat boss slams rival's cut-price deals

Date: 11 February 2010

Fiat UK boss Andrew Humberstone has launched an attack on rival brands' unprofitable deals as he looks to get the Italian manufacturer back onto an even keel ahead of a return to serious fleet competition.

"It's amazing how many manufacturers are selling cars at ridiculously low levels," he said. "They're managing to sell cars at below what makes sense and that's just to buy market share. I'm under no pressure to do that."

Humberstone claimed Fiat did "0%" short-term rental business last year, and said the firm will be absent from that sector "as long as it means we have to sell cars at a loss".

"We're going to focus on profitable business," he said.

Humberstone spoke of a "credible commercial policy" and changing the previous way of operating, where 70% of Fiat's business was conducted in the last three days of a month. Now he claims 21% of registrations occur in the last three days.

The Fiat boss pointed to the company's BSM deal as his blueprint for the fleet sector. "We've done that at full price with not a single discount on the car - that's how I want to go back into fleet," he said. "It's not about the lease price, we're okay on pricing, but it's about awareness."

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