Fleet News

Dealers face big bills on 600/800

ROVER dealers face a bill running into hundreds of thousands of pounds for any 600 and 800 models they have not sold by June. Late last year dealers were 'forced' to 'adopt' about 50 each of the now out of production 600 and 800, which they are offering at bargain prices.

Manufacturer subsidies are anything from £3,180 for a 618i, cutting its on-the-road price to £12,495, to a reduction of £6,480 for the 820 Vitesse, which is now being offered at £17,495 OTR. Rover's aim was to minimise the sales overlap with the 75. But many dealers are finding it tough to shift all the cars, even at the reduced price, and now face the prospect of having to pay Rover for unsold cars. Any unsold in June will have to be funded by the dealerships.

The unregistered cars are being held in a Rover compound and are supplied to customers direct from the manufacturer. The incentives are not a direct discount, but a consolidation of existing rewards and bonuses. Even after June dealers will still be able to sell the cars at these discounts, but will have to pay the manufacturer for them and take full responsibility for them.

Support is not applicable to fleets of more than 25 vehicles, which already have incentives in place, but Steve Harris, Rover's corporate sales director, says the company is open to negotiation. He said: 'We are happy to discuss deals with any major fleets or leasing companies interested in the 600 or 800.'

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