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‘High street brand to be selling cars within five years’

A major European high street brand will definitely enter the automotive sector within five years completely revolutionising the way consumers buy new cars, according to management consultancy AT Kearney.

It is putting together a panel of automotive specialists, including carmakers, aftersales and financial suppliers, to market its Indego car concept originally revealed in April. At the time, Kearney said the vision was for a new-style carmaker selling 250,000 cars in Europe on leasing schemes instead of outright purchase.

Now it believes a consumer brand is the missing link. “We need a supplier of products and services that are similar to our projected customer segment, which is ABC1, cash rich consumers,” says Steve Young, AT Kearney vice-president. “It needs to be a brand which is trusted and respected and one which customers would be happy to see on their driveway. We’re talking about brand extension not brand building – and that’s the challenge: finding a European brand that fits the mould.”

Indego was co-developed by former Ford of Europe president Martin Leach, now Maserati boss. Consumers will choose from four models in the “Lupo to Golf” segments, each with a high level of commonality – to include shared platforms and engines. Leasing packages from one to three years will be complemented by a range of motoring services like aftersales and insurance.

Young says Leach, although no longer actively involved, is closely watching developments. He claims dealers and carmakers will be able to capture 100% of service and repair revenue from the concept, which also removes the issue of residuals.

“Indego could come to market within a couple of years with an existing product; it will definitely happen within five years with a new brand,” Young adds.

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