The UK government’s car scrappage scheme has officially come to an end after at least 330,000 cars have been sold through the incentive.
The government estimates that 4,000 jobs with manufacturers and suppliers were supported by the scheme.
“I am pleased to see scrappage has delivered the results we aimed for,” said Business Secretary Lord Mandelson.
The 330,000 figure could rise further as cars bought under the scheme might not yet be registered. The maximum figure would be 400,000.
The scheme “provided a vital stimulus to the automotive sector during a difficult economic period”, according to motor industry body SMMT.
The UK’s automotive industry employs some 180,000 people in 3,300 businesses, accounting for about 6% of manufacturing employment in the UK, according to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Although the scheme never set out to reduce harmful emissions from cars in the UK, it ended up doing so anyway. “Cars bought through scrappage had average CO2 emissions of 133g/km, 27% lower than the average CO2 of scrapped cars,” BIS claimed.
The scrappage scheme also helped manufacturers reach new customers.
More than half the buyers of cars under the scrappage scheme had never bought a new car before, even though six in 10 of those trading in their old bangers were older than 60.
As the scrappage scheme comes to an end, many in the motor industry are worried sales will now fall.
However, the SMMT is not overly concerned.
“While the 2010 market is expected to dip, the recent increase in fleet and business demand is expected to soften the impact of the end of the scrappage scheme,” it said.