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Riddle of buyback agreements

Dealers wanting to stick with Rover do not know who will underwrite existing buyback agreements on the 75 and other models. They say Rover executives are unable to advise them.

Arnold Clark, Scotland's leading car dealer, said his contract hire department last month sold 48 Rover 75s because they were so cheap. “Rover said it would underwrite the residuals,” he said. “It has a lot of obligations to drive-hire companies and I want to know who will buy the cars back.”

The Arnold Clark group, which operates five Rover outlets, has committed itself to sticking with the marque. “We have been under a lot of pressure over the last few months to change our Rover signage and bring showrooms up to new standards.

“We will maintain our commitment to Rover but my agreement means we could walk away from Alchemy without giving notice. It says if the manufacturer stops making cars you are no longer obligated to deal with it.”

John Clark, whose Aberdeen-based group represents BMW and Land Rover, said: “It is good to see BMW dropping a company which was sustaining huge losses which could have brought problems for the parent group.”

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