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Mercedes ban risks jobs

Ban on new models which carry non-conforming coolant risks 1,600 jobs, venders tell government

THE BAN on the sale of new models of Mercedes risks 1,600 jobs and could see dealerships go under, according to venders.

A group of Mercedes concessionaires have written to the Ministry of Ecology claiming that the ban on new models of the A, B, CLA and SL class Mercedes could see orders drop by 50%.

The government initiated the ban because the new vehicles are carrying a type of liquid coolant in their air-conditioning systems that no longer conforms to EU norms.

The president of the national group of Mercedes-Benz concessionaires, Jean-Claude Bernard, said in a letter to the ministry that, if the ban continued, “we will have to make part-time or cancel the contracts of 10-15% of our 11,000 employees in the network.”

The group said France’s action, as the sole country to ban the new models, was “protectionism in disguise” and said: “The conflict is, in our view, more anchored in the political sphere, essentially European.”

The group has said it will seek damages once the ban is lifted.

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