Ford expects the government to introduce a scrappage subsidy to help new car buyers some time this year.
Ingvar Sviggum, Ford Europe sales chief, said that the company has included boosted sales from a scrappage scheme in its budget predictions for the year.
“I really expect that the British will introduce a scrappage scheme,” said Sviggum.
Other industry figures are making the same assumption, Autocar has learned, although there’s no word yet on when the subsidies will be introduced.
The SMMT has submitted a document outlining how a scrappage scheme would work to the government, with the original aim of boosting new car sales in March, traditionally the most important month for sales.
The SMMT had previously predicted that a pay-to-scrap scheme would boost the new car market by around 250,000 sales over the course of the year.
Now, the SMMT says that the uncertainty over the implementation of a scheme is actually costing sales, because some buyers are holding off until an official announcement is made.
According to Ford’s figures, March is now tracking “between 30 and 40 per cent” down. That suggests almost 200,000 registrations could be lost in a single month.