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TICC and Jamjar vie for top dotcom status

The Internet Car Company (TICC), the latest entrant into the motor retail dotcom business, will open 12 “multi-media shops” in prime retail sites to support customers buying from its website.

Managing director Stewart Ramsay said the shops would be similar to mobile phone outlets where customers could talk to sales advisers, check out car details on computer terminals and arrange part exchange and new car delivery. He said the “clicks & mortar” approach would offer a personal service “unlike anything else on the market”. The company hopes to have the first of two shops open in London within 12 weeks and has plans for others in Birmingham, Manchester, York, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

TICC has been supported by The Royal Bank of Scotland, which last week launched its own website, Jamjar.com, under its Direct Line insurance subsidiary.

Direct Line is to invest £50m in Jamjar.com over four years in a quest to become the online market leader for motor retailing. Oliver Prill, managing director of e-commerce, would not reveal sales targets, but said prices would “undercut almost any UK dealer”.

Dixon Motors, through its Doncaster logistics centre, will supply most of the late-plate and preregistered cars. Marques not handled by Dixon will be obtained from other dealers.

TICC plans to sell new and nearly-new cars from UK and continental European sources.

Mr Ramsay said he could offer discounts up to 25%, even on cars sourced through UK franchised dealers.

He named Glenvarigill, TC Harrison, Parks of Hamilton and Reg Vardy as companies which would supply cars.

But Peter Vardy, Reg Vardy chief executive, said he had “never heard of the company before last Wednesday” when launch plans were revealed.

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