Ford is the latest car company to launch an incentive for UK consumers to trade in cars over seven years old, by offering £2,000 off some new models.Unlike schemes by BMW and Mercedes, which are only for diesels, Ford will also accept petrol cars.All of the part-exchanged vehicles will be scrapped, Ford said, which would have an “immediate positive effect on air quality”.Old cars, from any manufacturer, can be exchanged until the end of December.Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, Andy Barratt, chairman and managing director of Ford of Britain, said its scrappage scheme “is part of a journey” to improve air quality.”We have some pretty large incentives here, up to £7,000 if you have a commercial transit vehicle,” he said.”We’re the only scheme open to commercials. It is part of a journey.”Air quality is a much bigger debate and getting older vehicles off the road is part of that.”New technology, such as plug-in hybrids etc, are all part of that longer journey we need to work together.”Waking upConsumers will be given £2,000 off new Ford models ranging in price from about £12,000 to more than £20,000. Ford said that by combining the scrappage incentive with other standard offers, customers could receive up to £4,000 off a car or £7,000 off the cost of a van. The cars that can be traded in include any built to emissions standards that applied before 2010.Vauxhall ran a similar scrappage scheme earlier this year, as well as in 2015 and 2016.
Analysis: Richard Westcott, BBC transport correspondentNo-one could accuse the car industry of rushing to solve air pollution.Manufacturers have long been accused of dragging their heels over plans to tighten the legal emissions test.And for years, they happily sold cars that they knew were far more polluting on real roads than in the official lab test.But companies are now taking the initiative with old car scrappage schemes.Ford is the latest to offer a plan, and their version insists that the older, polluting car is destroyed rather than resold.But the offer is only open until the end of December. And let’s be frank, it is also an attempt to boost sales which have been flagging across the industry for the past four months.It’s hard to see it making a big dent in the dirty air problem.Environmental lawyers’ campaign group ClientEarth welcomed Ford’s announcement.”It seems the motor industry is finally waking up to the damage dirty diesels are doing to our lungs as well as their own reputation,” said ClientEarth lawyer Anna Heslop.”What we need is a thought-through, coherent strategy from government to help people to move to cleaner and more sustainable technology. “At the moment, there are pockets of small, short-term actions here and there, but nothing like the joined-up thinking we need to solve this problem.”The UK government has come under pressure to announce a vehicle scrappage scheme for diesel cars, after it was found that air quality thresholds in cities were repeatedly being breached.However the government’s clean air strategy announced in July did not include a scrappage scheme, calling previous ones “poor value” for money. Instead, it said new diesel and petrol cars would be banned from 2040.
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Source: BBC News