Bargain supermarket chain starts selling discounted cars online
10 March 2009

Discount supermarket Lidl has begun selling heavily discounted cars via its website.

The German supermarket chain, best known for selling cheap groceries, is selling two models at around 25 per cent less than list price, thanks to a deal stuck with car distributor ATG-Automobile.

Customers on Lidl’s German website can purchase four variants of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, starting from €10,570 (£9700) for the entry-level 1.0-litre 58bhp model, rising to €13,320 (£12,300) for the 1.3 CDTI model.

Two different models of the Volkswagen Cross Polo, a miniature soft-roader, are also on sale, starting form €13,645 (£12,500). Both are offered with a full range of manufacturer extras.

German car sales have been boosted in recent weeks by the new government stimulus package, rising by 21 per cent in February. Buyers are given up to €2500 (£2300) when replacing their old cars for a newer, more efficient model.

Not everyone is convinced that the German public will take to buying their cars from the supermarket.

"I think it will be very difficult for Lidl," said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, the director of the Centre for Automotive Research in Gelsenkirchen. "People don't want to buy high-value products from a discount grocery store."

There are currently no plans for the supermarket to expand the offer overseas, but if the price of the euro against the pound were to change, selling the cars in the UK might become viable.

George Barrow

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa is very refined, stylish and practical. Engines are not so good

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