Vauxhall revs up secret plan to beat Ford

Vauxhall plans to outflank Ford with a secret new finance programme to boost August and September “P” registrations of the Vectra car.

The GM-owned car giant will this week confidentially notify its dealers of the buyer incentive, to avoid the launch of copycat schemes by rivals. August registrations are crucial, accounting for 25 per cent of the full year’s sales.

The One-Over-Two scheme will be advertised by direct mail and motor trade press advertisements to businesses who usually buy used cars.

Rather than pay the full price for a Vectra, the One-Over-Two scheme allows payment of half the discounted dealer price and a two-year contract hire package.

Though the vehicle has to be returned at the end of the contract, the single payment includes road fund licences, replacement tyres, roadside assistance and all servicing and maintenance for up to 40,000 miles. VAT-registered businesses enjoy a further benefit in that the recoverable element of the VAT charged on the rental can be reclaimed in one amount at the start of the contract, further lowering the entry costs.

One-Over-Two is described as a tactical promotion by Tony Williams, general manager of Vauxhall Master Hire Leasing, and sales literature states that it applies only to 1996 Vectras registered before September 30. The initiative will be extended if successful, and could easily be rolled out for the use of other Vauxhall models.

The volume of car purchases by companies was recently overhauled by vehicles registered under leasing and hire contracts, and the move from ownership to “usership” is forecast to attract rapidly growing numbers of self-employed motorists and those taking advantage of employers’ “cash-for-car” finance incentives.

The recently-introduced “small” BMW 3-series car outsold not just every car in the upper-medium sector – with 5,704 registrations in the first nine days of August – but greatly exceeded retail sales for the cheaper VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra.

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