Partic bristle

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

Answered by Honest John
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.
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