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Dealers ready for 'bonus bonanza'

Rover dealers are hoping for a short-term sales bonanza as Alchemy seeks to clear unsold cars and generate cashflow for product development. There is confusion about the volume of cars in stock and how many will be inherited by MG Cars.

Jon Moulton, Alchemy managing partner, said: “There is at least five month's inventory. Sales have collapsed but we will find ways to generate confidence in buyers.” Dealers expect extra bonus money to clear out oversupply and aggressive marketing programmes to attract customers. One Rover dealer said: “We always make money when a manufacturer is in trouble”.

They say Rover stock management system has been “in a mess” for several months. Rover says the 75 can be delivered “from stock” but showroom systems show “end of May” for popular versions.

“People with years of experience have left Rover and the system has not coped,” said one dealer. “Nobody knows what's there.”

Meanwhile, BMW has halved production of Rover 75 at Cowley to 750 a week and slowed build of 25 and 45 at Longbridge by taking nine and a half hours out of the working week. Rover Financial Services, part of BMW Financial Services, will continue to trade as a division of BMW Group and hopes to maintain support to Rover dealers and customers

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