“Car manufacturers’ list prices are a sick joke,’ says Mike Porritt, who founded the car supermarket discount chain Carshock in 1997 with his wife Alison. With four outlets in northeast England, the Newcastle company sells imported and British-sourced cars at prices up to 35% less than at franchised dealerships. The business took off in 1998 after the government deregulated the motor retail industry to put an end to the ‘rip-off Britain’ image of traditional car dealers. Sales at Carshock have grown by more than 97% a year from £840,000 in 1999 to £6.4m in 2002.
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