The car scrappage scheme seems to have been a resounding success if February’s car registrations numbers are anything to go by. With the scheme due to come to an end on March 31st, plainly loads of individuals are still trying to participate within the scheme before the promise of extra cash towards a brand new car becomes just a distant memory.
The February numbers for brand spanking new car registrations indicates a 26.4% rise in February 2010 in comparison with the identical period last year, with 68,686 units being sold across the UK. The UK’s car industry association SMMT said that the scrappage scheme could be credited with giving the beleaguered motor industry eight months worth of positive sales. That is pretty good going in the midst of the worst recession in decades and one that saw the motor trade battered by factory closures, an economy that encouraged people to save lots of money rather than spend it and saw job losses throughout the motoring industry.
But the scrappage scheme hasn’t just benefited the UK motor trade; across Europe, other countries which have participated within the scheme have seen car registrations for brand new vehicles rise dramatically. Many people credit the scrappage scheme with keeping the motor industry going throughout the darkest days of the recession, and there are concerns that sales may drop dramatically once the scheme ends. This is reflected by Germany’s figures – Germany ended their scrappage scheme in September 2009, and in February 2010 saw a 30% drop in the number of new car registrations. Foreign brands were particularly badly hit, falling by 45%. The worry is that the top of the scrappage scheme across Europe will effectively slam the door shut on new car sales at a time when the industry continues to be very vulnerable to the influences of a less than buoyant financial situation.
But in the meantime, reports from Spain confirm that the scrappage scheme has been successful. The Spanish car maker’s association ANFAC released their February figures, showing an enormous 47% rise in the registration of new vehicles, with sales figures of 91,281 units. The Italian market benefited from a 25.75% increase, while France saw sales increase in the same monthly period by 17.8% year on year.
A future without scrappage
There is little question that the scrappage scheme has been a huge success, stabilising the motor industry across Europe and seeing it through one of the darkest financial periods in modern history. It has also done its bit for environmental concerns, removing older cars from the road and replacing them with new, more efficient ones with lower emissions and greater fuel economy figures. It has also kept people in jobs, not just within the motor industry but within the service sector that supplies the motor trade with parts. The scheme has been heavily promoted and thousands of customers have taken up the chance to replace their old cars with newer ones at a much cheaper price.
But what does the long run hold for a motor industry without the benefit of the scrappage scheme to carry on to? The figures from Germany are worrying the motor trade, as they voice concerns that the eight months of growth will be replaced by a sudden stop in new car registrations during April and should. While the scheme has given the industry a bit of bit of ‘breathing space’, there could possibly be much tougher times ahead for the motor trade, as customer numbers drop dramatically.
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Jayne Henry of Speedy Registrations Ltd – speedyreg.co.uk. Speedy Registrations have been supplying number plates to the public since 1984. Based in Northern Ireland we also specialise in Irish number plates. They aim to offer a choice of personalised number plates to meet all requirements. For interviews, quotes, images or comments contact: Jayne Henry Tel(DDI): 02866 387 124 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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