MG Rover Group has opened four new dealers in the German capital Berlin, taking the total of new dealer appointments in Europe to 60 in 2004.

A further 100 appointments will be made in 2005. MG Rover now has 1,000 retail outlets in Europe out of 1,250 worldwide.

Since changes in European Union block exemption rules have allowed dealers to sell more than one brand from a single site, the UK automaker has been "highly successful in attracting the new multi-franchise operations", it claims.

"Rover and MG are niche brands, of high quality and strong customer appeal, so they harmonise well with other makes in the showroom, and they cover 80% of passenger car segments. Dealers are also attracted by the brands' historic customer base, which is large and brings valuable income from servicing and repairs, and provides lucrative marketing opportunities, " said worldwide sales director Rod Ramsay.

When BMW sold MG Rover in May 2000, many dealers were left with mixed brands - BMW, Mini, Rover, MG, Land Rover and Jaguar all competed for showroom space. In many markets MG Rover has now altered more than half of its dealer network.

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