Ford of Europe has joined calls for the British government to introduce scrappage incentives to boost new-car sales during the recession.
Fords head of European sales and marketing Ingvar Sviggum said schemes in France, Italy and Germany, which give money to consumers changing old cars for new models, have reduced the impact of the economic downturn. I went to see five German dealers this week and there were a lot of customers coming in to take advantage of the scrappage incentives, Sviggum said on a conference call. Most were buying new cars for the first time.
Many of the people I spoke to were used-car buyers before, he said. I really hope we will see more of the same programs in other major markets like the UK.
In the UK, new-car sales were down 30.9 percent to 112,087 last month, according to the European automakers association, ACEA.
The British government is currently considering whether to introduce a scrappage bonus.
Sviggum said the French and German sales declines in January were less than the European average.