The month began with a sorry tale of the even sorrier state of the UK road network. The Asphalt Industry Alliance reported that potholes and, more often, trenches dug by utility companies had created a road surface crisis that would take £861 million and 13 years to put right. “As it is,” the report said, “the typical British motorist will find a pothole or rut wanting repair every 120 yards.”
Renault set out on its path to bring electrically powered cars to showrooms by committing to a plan that would put its Kangoo ZE on sale by 2011. The Kangoo ZE, it said, would have a 100-mile range, a 59bhp/140lb ft motor and the potential to be charged overnight from a standard three-pin plug.
Also in May, there were the first formal indications that General Motors was seeking to divest itself of struggling Swedish car maker Saab. By the end of the month the General had its shortlist of suitors reduced from 10 entries to just three. Both Fiat and Geely were rumoured to be on it.
Volkswagen got our attention when it issued the first pictures and details of the Scirocco R. It would have no four-wheel drive, but 261bhp and a £25k list price seemed exciting enough, as did the promise that the car would crack 62mph in 6.4sec, making it quicker than a Golf R32.