It is clear the scrappage scheme has had a positive effect on the UK car market, but there is still a long way to go before dealers will be talking about a fully fledged recovery.
Dealers agree too, with 74% of participants in AM’s poll believing the scrappage scheme has had a positive effect on footfall in showrooms.
At Benfield Motor Group, chief executive Mark Squires told AM its new car orders had jumped from being 10% down earlier this year to being 40% up since scrappage started.
Squires said: “Manufacturers are driving scrappage and it is driving people through the doors. Our view is that it’s incremental to what the underlying market was and is.
“It’s important we don’t lose sight of our underlying market, so we’re balancing awareness of scrappage with nearly new sales campaigns where we don’t worry if the customer’s car is too young for scrappage because they could still save thousands on a nearly new car.”
While the Government has said scrappage orders have surpassed the 60,000 mark, AM has delved deeper to try to see how many cars have been ordered from each manufacturer and how many have reached customers.
Some details of the scheme were still being finalised in May which meant some consumers may have held back their purchasing decision. June will be the first month that dealers will be able to see a clearer picture of what effect scrappage has had on the market.
As expected, the manufacturers with “scrappage friendly” cheap models have done well, with Hyundai coming out on top with more than 9,000 cars ordered and 3,476 delivered to customers.
Kia hasn’t had as many orders, but it has managed to deliver more cars than it’s Korean parent with 3,500 handed over to customers.
Some manufacturers were worried about the Government’s deadline to deliver cars within four months. While a few manufacturers did highlight some concern, there was a strong consensus the delivery window was not a problem.
A spokesman for Citroën was cautious. He said: “We are doing everything to keep lead times of deliveries down to a minimum, but C1, C2, C3 demand is high and production limited.”
GM was unwilling to break down figures for individual brands other than Vauxhall and Chevrolet. Some other manufacturers were unwilling to reveal any figures.
Comments from the online poll
'We are still well down on footfall and sales.'
'As a nearly-new dealer it has had a seriously bad effect upon us as far as footfall is concerned.'
'Hyundai is going great guns and Seat enquiries have also gone up.'
'Very much so and with a dramatic increase in sales, especially with Suzuki Alto, Swift and Splash.'
'Footfall increased, but not sales.'
'It is not even a topic of conversation in the showroom with prospects – our franchise is Jaguar. I wonder how many British-built vehicles have been sold on this scheme. The real winners appear to be the likes of Hyundai, Kia and Fiat.'