Halfords has hit back at the SMMT Â following its successful ASA complaint over an Autocentres advert and told the society not to stand in the way of consumer choice.
The SMMT complained about an online Halfords claim that motorists could save up to 50 percent off main dealer prices by using one of its Autocentres.
The complaint was upheld, so now the Halfords website shouts about savings of 40 percent compared with franchised workshops.
Halfords Autocentres Chief Executive Bill Duffy said: “Under block exemption independent aftermarket service providers like us have every right to advise motorists of the potential savings to be made when they are comparing the price of servicing and repairing their cars â€“ something which is of increased importance given the current financial climate.
â€œWe are disappointed that the SMMT resorted to using the ASA as a referee in a battle between the interests of franchised dealers and the quality independent aftermarket, a dispute that will result in only one real loser – the motorist.â€
A statement from the company goes on to say: “The SMMT made a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about the advertisement Â which Halfords believes would not only prevent consumers saving substantial sums of money but undermines the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Tradersâ€™ remit to act in the interests of both the retail and aftermarket segments of the automotive industry.”
The Halfords website has been changed to reflect new offers “highlighting savings of up to 40 percent over generally more expensive main dealers â€“ rising to 60 percent if customers take advantage of a current online promotional offer.”
Read more about yesterday’s ruling and the SMMT’s reaction here.