Hyundai UK said it received a significant boost from the scrappage scheme, but highlighted the lifeline thrown to dealerships across the country.
Speaking to just-auto at yesterday’s (27 May) SMMT Test day at Millbrook, the Korean manufacturer conceded the scheme had proved a massive success.
“Before scrappage if you asked people to name 10 cars [only] 11% would name Hyundai, so that clearly was a problem for us,” a spokesman said. “If you are not in people’s consideration, they will never buy the car.
“We had a five-year plan to double that consideration and scrappage allowed us to double that in six months.”
Hyundai UK said it sold 16,000 vehicles in March – a record month – and is estimating 50,000 total sales this year compared to 56,000 in 2009.
So successful was the scrappage scheme for Hyundai that last September it was forced to pull advertising as it did not have enough product to sell. “That was Aston Martin territory. That was not something we were happy about as it is unsustainable,” added the spokesman.
The manufacturer has now substituted its ‘trade and upgrade’ ‘swappage’ initiative for scrapppage, but praised the government incentive as providing a stable platform across the industry in addition to sales.
“Scrappage boosted new car sales, there is no doubt about that,” said the Hyundai spokesman. “It kept dealerships afloat, that was part of the reason behind it.”
Other initiatives to replace such sales also include offering a five-year warranty on Hyundai models, as well as significant advertising surrounding next month’s World Cup in South Africa.
To that end Hyundai will start sponsoring independent UK television network ITV’s coverage of the tournament, beginning with England’s opening game against the US on 12 June.
The automaker is also launching its ‘football scrappage scheme’ where customers can take their old footballs to a dealer, who will then exchange it for a new one.
All the old footballs – up to 56,000 – will be reconditioned and sent to South African townships along with a new one courtesy of Hyundai.