The very nice people at Ford let me drive some of their cars the other day, which I enjoyed immensely.

I also enjoyed listening to Nigel Sharp, managing director of Ford UK, say how very pleased he was with the scrappage scheme. Well, he would be! He also proudly stated that the brilliant scheme had introduced ‘new customers’ to Ford. These were people who would not otherwise have bought a car.

Obviously I could not let that go, so I asked whether they actually asked each scrappage customer why they were doing this terrible thing. He said no.

“So how do you know that customers part-exchanging through scrappage are new and would not have bought anyway?” I queried. “We don’t, its apocryphal,” he replied.

Top marks for honesty, but how can a scheme’s success be based on, well nothing really, just a bit of wishful thinking and a guess.