Stellantis appears to be manipulating the new car market and making buyers pay for it.
The trade press has reported the massive PSA/ Fiat/ Vauxhall conglomerate has been making dealers register cars still on their way or in logistics hubs but not on the road in the hands of their buyers.
Motorists have also been made to pay for the cars in advance or lose the order and racked up finance payments, road fund licence and insurance costs for months at a time.
Stellantis allege the practice is to ensure they get stock in future. It has reportedly told dealers if they do not comply with their registration demands that they will lose bonuses.
Making motorists put down their names on the documentation mean the cars are not dealer pre-registrations and they do not have to be discounted when sold to the next buyer as is often the case with demonstrators or showroom models.
Second hand cars processed in this way do not pay new car tax either so there is another saving being taken away from the real buyers.
The Stellantis action can also affect pcp and lease deals as prices are inflated above where they should be and in some cases a bigger hit may come down the line at the end of a term, also affecting the motorists in the schemes.
Stellantis has been struggling with sales for a long time and has paid out massive compensation in the USA for fixing emissions results to get around cleaner air taxes.
Pre-registration of cars has been common in the UK market to artificially inflate sales and market share but it has diminished in recent years as supplies have been hit by the Covid pandemic and then the micro-chip shortage.