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Italian parliament gives green light to new car scrappage scheme

Car retailers in Italy will benefit from a post-COVID sales boost after the country’s government gave the green light to scrappage scheme incentives for buyers.

According to a report published by Reuters, a package of incentives to encourage sales of both “state-of-the-art” internal combustion engine (ICE), as well as hybrid and electric vehicles (EV) was given the go-ahead on Friday (July 3).

Rome will offer buyers of Euro 6 vehicles with a price lower than 40,000 euros (£36,151) 3,500 euros (£3,164), if they scrap a car that are 10-years-old or more, according to the legislation voted on by the Lower House’s budget committee.

Existing subsidies for EVs ands will also be bolstered, according to the report.

Italy’s decision to boost its automotive sector with a vehicle scrappage scheme – which would also aim to reduce emission – is in-line with incentives announced in France and Germany.

At the start of May four industry associations representing Europe’s automotive sector joined forces to call for car scrappage schemes as part of a 25-point COVID-19 coronavirus recovery plan.

ACEA, CECRA, CLEPA and ETRMA revealed their plan to ensure a strong restart, laying out the details a joint letter sent to the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Last month the German government doubled its share of the existing purchase incentive for electric cars and hybrid cars, paying a grant of €6,000 (£5,370) for a pure EV in addition to an OEM-backed subsidy of €3,000 (£2,685).

In-line with its eco-friendly car purchase incentive scheme, the German government also plans to reform its tax system to ensure higher-emitting vehicle pay higher taxes from January 2021.

Days earlier, at the end of May, France announced an increase in the state-provided grant towards an electrified vehicle purchase from 7,000 euros (£6,243) from 6,000 (£5,342).

Car buyers looking to invest in a traditional car will receive a 3,000-euro bonus under a scheme, meanwhile, as part of an effort to help car retailers sell and estimated 400,000 left in stock following the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown.

In the UK, it appears that Government has canned any scrappage scheme plans, however.

The Times reported that a letter from Rachel Maclean, junior minister for transport and the environment, had put paid to the idea. It said: “The government has no plans at this stage to introduce a scrappage scheme.”

AM webinar: The AM Motor Retail Review (Monday July 6 at 2pm)

This 45-minute webinar will discuss the UK motor retail industry’s achievements in the first month of trading since lockdown ended for England’s car dealers, including:

· June’s new car registrations and used car opportunities.

· The lessons learned from social distanced trading.

· How dealers balance the return to trading and their need to limit their costs.

· Prospects for Q3 and critical steps for success.

Chaired by AM editor Tim Rose, his invited guests will include senior executives of AM100 dealers, suppliers and OEMs, who’ll share their own experiences since lockdown ended and outline some ways dealers can sustain their business recovery.

Rose said: “This is a crucial moment for UK motor retail. The new car registrations data from the first month since lockdown will tell us how strongly the industry is fighting back, and there’ll be feedback on how customers and staff are coping with new processes and PPE in showrooms.

“The lessons of the last few weeks must help motor retail prepare for Q3 and the looming plate-change campaign.”

Guest speakers signed up so far:

Tim Duckers, Cambria Automobiles

Duckers is the motor division managing director of AM100 motor retailer Cambria Automobiles, working alongside chief executive Mark Lavery to lead a portfolio of franchised dealerships from volume mainstream such as Vauxhall and premium brands such as Jaguar Land Rover to high luxury brands such as Bentley and Rolls Royce.

Steve Le Bas, BDO

Le Bas is the head of motor retail at accountants and business advisers BDO. He has some 20 years’ experience working with motor trade clients, including statutory audits, assisting their internal accounting functions and conducting due diligence assignments for prospective motor trade purchasers.

Dale Wyatt, Suzuki GB

As head of automobile at Suzuki GB, Wyatt is responsible for the brand health of Suzuki cars and splits his time between working with the UK management team, Suzuki’s dealer network and the parent company in Japan.

Ian Plummer, Auto Trader

Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, joined the car sales platform in 2017 after heading sales operations and franchise management at Volkswagen UK and before 15 years at Renault in roles at both the UK sales company and the head office in Paris.

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