A source has told Car Dealer that they believe it is and that it could cause serious problems for the supermarket getting hold of stock.
Despite the supermarket categorically denying the relationship had gone sour, the news won’t surprise many in the industry if it has.
‘Motability sources its cars direct from us and we give them a discount when they buy,’ one car manufacturer board member told us.
‘That is on a gentlemen’s agreement that these cars are then offered back to our franchised dealer network first.
‘These cars are well looked after and are prime used retail stock for our dealers – when we heard these cars were then going to be sold via Tesco too we started to have some serious conversations.’
We understand a number of manufacturers have had similar chats with the charity. And our source went as far as to say he thought the relationship may be about to come to an end.
‘That’s a spurious rumour and is not true.’
We asked TescoCars.com whether that was the case and if losing this source of stock would cause the firm problems, but a spokesman denied the relationship was on the rocks.
‘That’s a spurious rumour that simply isn’t true,’ said a spokesman for TescoCars.com. ‘We have a relationship with them and are happy with that relationship. Motability is one of many sources of cars which includes manufacturers and dealer groups. There have been no secret handshakes with Motability.’
We contacted Motability who issue the following statement:
‘Motability Operations can confirm that it has sold a number of second hand cars to a new car retail website from Tesco.
‘First option to buy any ex-Motability car always goes to the network of 5,000 franchised car dealers who originally supplied or maintained the car through the Motability Scheme.
‘However, any remaining cars unsold may be auctioned or sold to independent car retailers, car supermarkets and internet sellers. These additional channels are required due to the volume of cars not sold via the dealer network.
‘Supply of cars to any venture such as Tesco’s is subject to the same terms and conditions as all of Motability Operations’ second hand car disposals.
‘There is no change to how Motability Operations works with dealers buying Motability cars at the end of a lease.’