“What we’ve seen is that in the UK it has always been the transporter with 11 cars that has driven the market in terms of price structure for our customers,” said Davide Sobrino, UK area manager for Unirolfo, the sales organisation for Rolfo car transport equipment in Europe.
According to Sobrino, the BelleRolfo JV worked with all of major finished vehicle carriers in the UK in the design phase and at different stages of development, tackling issues such as how to reduce damage, improve operation and improve safety.
The development of the trailer was also driven by the need to cater for an industry that has seen its margins squeezed since the downturn in the economy through tough competition. That competition has come at the same time that rising fuel and commodity costs have driven up the price of transport and equipment significantly.
“From our point of view as a manufacturer, the only way to progress was to add value to the carcarrier that we provide to the market: the fully galvanized Ego has a capacity into UK limits for 11 Mondeo-sized cars, nine SUVs, seven medium vans or even three Sprinter vans,” said Sobrino. “We have invested heavily and locally to develop a carrier that match with the specifications and the way of working that the companies have in the sector, offering a tool to increase their competitiveness”
Cars for the presentation day were supplied by Special Vehicle Preparation, Citroën UK and the UK division of PSA’s logistics provider Gefco.
Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA said: “The European Commission has created an expectation that manufacturers should operate in a transparent manner with their dealers and adhere to minimum standards of behaviour in their commercial relationships, as set out in an agreed code of conduct. We are very pleased that the EC intends to facilitate a meeting that will bring the main parties together to discuss the code. The NFDA’s main objective is to ensure that dealers are getting a fair deal in the new manufacturer contracts.”
Although the meeting is a step forward in the NFDA’s lobbying for a comprehensive code of conduct, it is still urging all dealer councils to alert their network of the potential impact of these changes.