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I have owned my Rover 75 Tourer for eight years, and it has ticked all the boxes, so I am happy to keep it for a few years yet. Inevitably one or two things now need attending to, and last week the ABS sensor failed, (which disables the speedometer, by the way), so it needed replacing. I contacted the Cambridge Rover dealer who sold me the vehicle, (Marshalls, but you may not wish to state this if you print my letter), and was quoted £92 for a new sensor. This sounded astonishingly expensive, so I hit Google, and found a new unit for £17.99. When it arrived 24 hours after ordering it was clearly a genuine Rover part, being in Rover packaging and bearing the Rover part number. Now fitted, all is back to normal. I realise Rover owners are generally not the youngest on the roads, but should they really be so badly ripped off?
Asked on 24 April 2010 by A.B., Clare
There is a huge gap between the retail and wholesale prices for parts. Always has been. After Morris Minor production ended, someone built a Morris Minor entirely from parts. The cost was something like 20x the final retail price of a Morris Minor. One problem is economies of scale. Make 10,000 reluctor rings for ABS a day, every day, and the cost of each unit can be tiny. Run off a special batch of 100 from scratch and the cost will be considerable. Another factor is the way the parts system operates. Parts supplied overnight come at a premium over parts supplied over the course of a few days.
Dear Honest John,
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