More than 35,000 cars have been ordered through the car scrappage scheme, according to the latest figures released by the government.
Launched to provide short-term support for car manufacturers and companies in the supply chain, the government claims that the project has been a success with consumers buying one in five new cars through the scheme.
Prime minister Gordon Brown said: 'I am determined to do everything I can to see Britain through the downturn quickly and build a stronger Britain for the future. That is why I am delighted that more than 35,000 people have already taken up the government's offer of help to buy a new car when they scrap their old one. This scheme not only helps hard-pressed consumers, it also helps protect British jobs by stimulating demand for new cars.'
Sue Robinson, director of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF), said: ‘Government figures that report 35,000 car sales resulting from the vehicle scrappage scheme would seem to show that the scheme is having a positive effect on the new car market. The incentive scheme is helping the industry revive sales, while also helping consumers get into a new car. This is a double win.'
Speaking to The Engineer Online, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) gave a cautious welcome to the figures. ‘The news is encouraging, however, we will be paying close attention to the registration figures coming out in July reflecting June's registrations. When a car is registered it means it's on the road and that’s when the SMMT counts it as a sale.’
A spokesperson for the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform said: ‘Obviously, at the moment it's very early on in the scheme and these are just preorders. As soon as we get through the first set of rebate forms from the manufacturers, that’s when we’ll really know its success. But we've heard from the manufacturers that they’re seeing a lot more business coming in and there’s a lot more interest out there, providing this vital boost at a time when the car industry needs it most.’