I chanced across an article this morning making me aware of the potential launch of a UK diesel scrappage scheme despite the current DfT denial of such. Which got me thinking, do we really need this?
I recall working for a Peugeot retail business in 2009 when the first scrappage scheme was launched and, let's be honest, it was fantastic at the time! Nearly 400,000 vehicles were sold. The economy was in a dark place and I recall that the automotive retail world was a bit of a slog - despite Peugeot having some great products on the market at the time. The scrappage scheme really did boost new car sales. The Hyundai i10 was the consumer's most popular choice at the time and look at their brands' growth since - it has been simply phenomenal.
It breathed life into a dwindling economy and from a personal perspective, it made coming into work exciting again. The smell of a new car, the smile on our customer's faces and - very importantly - it safeguarded our jobs at that point.
Seven years on, I am looking at this from the other side of the fence and asking these questions. What about the used car dealers? Where do the cars even end up? Should it be limited to economical cars only? With scrap steel fetching only half of what it was 12 months ago, and in my opinion the market seems fairly buoyant at present, is this really necessary for our industry?
The Department for Transport (DfT) has denied it is looking to launch a diesel scrappage scheme in the UK to encourage customers to trade out of their older diesel vehicles