03 February 2005 | David Arminas
Purchasers risk breaking competition rules if they fail to review their methods for gathering and sharing sector information, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The move follows the SMMT changing how it gathers data in order not to fall foul of the rules. Members of the society, a trade association for manufacturers and component suppliers, include Ford and Vauxhall.
For April's quarterly sales forecast onwards, economists and representatives from motor firms will send their information to the SMMT, which will use it to forecast car sales. Previously, members met to share information such as interest rate predictions and economic indicators.
An SMMT spokeswoman told SM: "Companies should review regularly how they share information with business partners and trade bodies to keep within the competition rules."
She said the society had not received inquiries from the Office of Fair Trading, the government's competition watchdog.
Peter Cooke, KPMG professor of automotive industries management at Nottingham Business School, said the industry has been careful to heed competition rules, even though there are such close links between first-tier and second-tier suppliers and car makers.