The government’s scheme to help replace older, polluting cars with modern, safer and more environmentally-friendly models has brought new car ownership within reach of millions of motorists – and few companies are better placed than Hyundai to ‘clean up’.
The Korean company’s range of small, affordable and recently launched cars have been big winners in Germany, where a similar scrappage scheme has been operating since the beginning of 2009. German sales of the i10 city car leapt 662% in the first quarter of the year.
It’s not difficult to imagine the i10 having similar success in the UK. Although details are yet to be finalised the scrappage allowance of £1000 and a higher contribution from Hyundai will enable customers to purchase a Hyundai i10 for less than £5,000. Buying it on a PCP finance scheme results in a monthly cost of only £85 – that’s less than some people spend on mobile phone bills or satellite TV subscriptions, and less than the price of a return train ticket to London from Peterborough.
The newly-launched i20 is also sure to prove popular. This model is perfect for buyers who want to be greener with their new car too, as it’s the lowest emitting petrol model in the class, with a CO2 figure of just 124g/km. Six airbags as standard on all i20s mean that it’s ideal for those who want to use scrappage to upgrade to a safer car too.
Buyers needing more space are expected to plump for the i30. German sales of this model rose 354% in the first quarter of 2009 following their scrappage allowance. Around 70% of these buyers had never bought a Hyundai before.
The boost from scrappage will build on an already successful year for Hyundai in the UK. Sales for the first quarter of 2009 were down a mere 1.85% on last year – a highly successful achievement in a market that is down by 29.7%. Sales to private buyers were even more impressive, with Hyundai up by 18% in a market that is down by 28.9% compared to the end of the first quarter in 2008. Hyundai was the only major manufacturer to accomplish any growth in the retail sector.
Hyundai’s MD Tony Whitehorn said: “Although we had hoped for a £2000 contribution from the Government, £1000 will help drive business through our doors at this time of recession. We will strive to match this price or an even higher price once the details have been confirmed. There are around 10 million cars in the UK which will be eligible for scrappage. It’s a huge opportunity for drivers to upgrade to a safer, cleaner and more reliable car. We expect a huge increase in demand as people realise they can afford a new Hyundai.”