UK: With Chinese deal just weeks away, MG Rover embarks on German dealer recruitment drive
MG Rover is embarking on a multi-million pound dealer recruitment drive with the aim of selling thousands of extra cars a year in Germany, according to a television news report on Thursday.
The BBC quoted MG Rover Deutschland head Jurgen Voss as saying that the pending tie-up with China's Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) has increased German buyers' confidence in the brand to such an extent that a local businessman has invested £300,000 in a new dealership in southern Bavaria, not far from the Munich home of former Rover owner BMW.
Dealership owner Horst Willner told the broadcaster he expects to sell 100 cars this year.
The three-year, 100,000-kilometre warranty offered with MG Rover cars in Germany is better than the two-year cover offered by German rivals such as BMW and Audi in their home market, Willner added.
The BBC said BMW's 2000 sell-off of Rover to a private consortium run by four UK businessmen [including former Rover managing director John Towers] led to a "massive" loss of confidence in Germany and the number of dealerships for the brand plunged to just 28.
The broadcaster said MG Rover had been spending millions of pounds on a dealer recruitment drive in Germany and expects eventually to sign up over 150 outlets.
Voss told the BBC the expected Chinese investment would pay for new and more desirable models than MG Rover's ageing current model line.
Asked if it was only a matter of weeks before a deal is struck with SAIC, Voss replied: "It is."
"[The deal] is all to the good," he told the BBC.