Fleet News

Sainsbury's denies car selling plan

SUPERMARKET giant J Sainsbury has denied that it plans to move into car retailing, despite launching two in-store initiatives to promote Drive, the personal motoring scheme run by Sainsbury Bank.

Firstly, supermarkets in the north west will display the new MINI as part of a sales promotion with MINI dealerships.

Customers will not be able to buy the cars at Sainsbury branches, but will be able to access Drive banking services via in-store computers - applying for a loan before they start shopping and receiving credit approval or rejection by the time they reach the check-out.

Secondly, Sainsbury is working on a joint scheme with Honda to promote the manufacturer's cars through Drive. A spokesman for the supermarket said it had no plans to go into car retailing, regardless of what happens with the European Commission's review of the car distribution block exemption, but said it would not have launched Drive 'if we did not see it as an opportunity'.

Sainsbury's will continue to source cars for Drive through dealers, rather than directly from manufacturers.

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