Rover has introduced the initiative following its dissatisfaction at low market predictions for the 75's residual values and is offering to buy back 75s at about 43% of their price new. In contrast, CAP Motor Research has forecast that the executive car will retain between 32% and 36% of its list price after three years and 60,000 miles, while Glass's Guide is forecasting between 33.7% and 36.4%. But leasing companies have described Rover's bullish move as an act of desperation that will complicate their relationships with customers.
Simon Richmond, director and general manager of ACL, said: 'The deal is so rigid. We have to include Rover's residual value prediction in our quotations as well as a maintenance figure, which it provides.' He said the buy-back offer would create a customer service 'nightmare' for contract hire companies because they would have to apply two different sets of end-of-contract wear and tear conditions for all 75 models.
Alan Hale, operations director at VELO, accepted the buy-back's rigorous wear and tear conditions, but said Rover's requirement that the 75 is serviced at a Rover franchise could create problems, particularly for non-maintenance contracts. But Andrew Mann, managing director of JCT 600 Contracts, applauded the buy-back offer. 'A customer should treat the car properly and therefore the wear and tear issues will not be a problem, particularly as they are getting the 75 at reduced rates because the RV is so much higher,' he said.