Although it is too early to say how many outlets could join the MG Rover network, a spokesman says the company has been surprised just how many applications it has received. They include ex franchised dealers and independent service/ repair garages looking to expand their customer base, he adds.
Although Rover's share of the new car market has fallen back in recent years, the number of Rover cars still on British roads continues to provide garages in many areas with buoyant levels of aftersales.
The manufacturer is also trying to boost aftersales profits for its dealer network. Recently it launched the AutoService fast-fit programme at 60 sites and further expansion is planned. The company is hoping to have around 150 outlets serving all makes for exhausts, tyres and battery replacement.
MG Rover will temporarily close its Longbridge plant this week in a bid to clear a backlog of unsold cars. The 6500 staff will stop work for around five days during the “stock balancing” exercise.