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Slimmer package on Rover line-up

Carmakers are still trying to find the right marketing formula to shift the metal amid clear signs customers are staying out of the showrooms and waiting for headline prices to drop.

Rover certainly got it right in April and dealers have welcomed the roll-over of the supported finance programme into May. The terms have been tightened up though, as Automotive Management's comprehensive market analysis reveals.

The 0% finance terms have been cut back from 24 months to 12 months, except in the case of the 75 range, and cashbacks have been reduced by roughly £500 per vehicle. Rover Financial Services says it is simply reacting to the falling stock levels (why continue to subsidise cars which are selling?) but it remains to be seen if the offer is now good enough to keep the customers coming through the doors in similar numbers.

There is also a question mark over who gets the point-of-sale and dealer stock finance once the Phoenix consortium takes over full responsibility. The existing provider, a subsidiary of BMW Financial Services, would appear to be favourite since Burdale Financial, which is underwriting the purchase, does not offer retail packages.

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