Alan Pulham, director of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, described the initiative by M5 corridor-based Johnsons Volvo as 'an extreme example of a trend' where dealers were having to go to extraordinary lengths to drum up trade. The biggest cut is available on a S80 2.4S (140bhp) auto saloon, for which the recommended list price is £25,880. Johnsons' price is £3,885 lower at £21,995 - a 15% discount.
As the dealer margin is likely to be a maximum of 10%, Johnsons could be subsidising its new Volvo-sourced S80 by at least £1,297. A Volvo Car UK spokesman told Fleet NewsNet: 'Our dealers are free agents. They are independent, have their own trading money and it is up to them how they use it.'