Major incentives to get customers into brand new cars are needed – and one of those could be a scrapple scheme, Ford’s UK boss has said.
Dr. Graham Hoare OBE, chairman of Ford of Britain, said a VAT reduction would be ‘of value’ but he is ‘really keen’ for incentives that encourage people to trade in their cars for new models at the cheaper end of the market.
Speaking ahead of a summit organised by the SMMT which took place yesterday, Hoare said: ‘I’m really keen to find a way that we can get those those lower cost transactions happening easier.
‘A scrappage programme maybe, but certainly a scheme that allows people – let’s say below £25,000 spending – to access a significant way of getting into a new vehicle.
‘I think that will make the biggest difference in our industry.’
During the summit, Hoare also called for a long-term strategy from the government to help manufacturers achieve zero emission vehicles sales targets in the 2030s.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes held back from calling for a new scrappage scheme, claiming it was important to find out what the demand was for new cars before taking action.
He said: ‘It will always be a bit artificial for the first few weeks… because we had that backlog.
‘When we closed in March – our most important month of the year – there was obviously deliveries unfulfilled, registrations unfulfilled.
‘We have to work through that first, seeing what the underlying level of demand is like, and then we’ll see where we end up.
‘It may be – as we know the Treasury is considering – consumer demand and consumer confidence is low, so we would need to look at maybe cross-economy as well as sector-specific issues that relate to stimulate demand.’
At the summit, the SMMT also said that more than 6,000 UK jobs in the car industry have been cut in June so far, and a survey of its members indicated that one in six roles are at risk of redundancy.
Hawes stressed the importance of the Government securing a free trade agreement with the EU as part of the Brexit negotiations.
‘With such a deal, a strong recovery is possible, we can safeguard the industry and our reputation as an attractive destination for foreign investment and a major trade player.’
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