JLR boss wants scrappage scheme-style stimulus in place for July

Time 8:33 am, May 7, 2020

Jaguar Land Rover boss Rawdon Glover is calling for a ‘stimulus package’ from the government to boost car sales – and wants it in place as soon as July.

In an exclusive interview with Car Dealer Magazine, the JLR UK managing director said that a package which has a similar impact on boosting sales as a scrappage scheme could help increase new car demand.

There have been growing calls from the car industry for the government to put in place some from of package to incentivise customers to go out and buy a new car when the lockdown lifts.

With new car sales down -97 per cent in April and May looking likely to be just as tough, industry leaders are calling for help to get buyers back in showrooms. 

Glover told Car Dealer in a video interview – the highlight of which you can watch above – that he hoped a package from the government would be benefit to all manufacturers.

He said: ‘Without getting into too much specifics, the key thing for stimulus is it has to work across all industry.

‘It has to be simple for customers to understand and it has got to be just as applicable for somebody buying a budget car as to somebody buying a luxury vehicle.

‘The whole industry needs a stimulus. For me, it has to be wide ranging, it has to be simple and we’d really like it to be in place – if anything was put in – by July, because we work in quarters and being able to integrate that into our quarterly sales and marketing plans would be key.’

German car dealers and manufacturers have been lobbying their leaders hard for a similar scheme. This week the German government said it would be the end of May at least before it decided on a scrappage scheme.

What a stimulus package would look like in the UK is up for debate – many believe a scrappage scheme that incentives buyers into more eco-friendly models in exchange for giving up old and dirty models would be preferred. 

Similarly, a cut in VAT would not only benefit car buyers with instant price reductions, but also boost the rest of the economy as prices fall overnight. However, with the government desperately in need of recuperating cash it has used to sure up the economy, experts are unsure if that is likely.

Glover added: ‘My priority is [a stimulus package] needs to incentivise the whole industry – that’s the first and foremost. 

‘We are very lucky as we have a very strong EV in the market. But if you were to focus on EVs, there is not sufficient supply of EVs to make the demonstrable change that we, as an industry, need and that the government would like to see.

‘I think it is really about navigating through that quite carefully.’

Glover sits on the SMMT Car section committee which helps shape the calls made to the government via the organisation. 

The group held a meeting yesterday where they ratified plans the government is likely to impose on dealers for reopening. Yesterday, we reported that Glover expects dealers to reopen on May 18 as part of those plans.

More: Emissions-driven self-help scrappage scheme could help industry recover

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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