• May 26, 2009
Governments all over the world have introduced Cash-For-Clunkers-style programs that are nothing if not controversial. While the stated intent of each of these schemes is to increase new car sales and remove older, dirtier and less fuel efficient vehicles from the road, some powerful organizations have voiced concerns that untold numbers of classic machinery may be lost forever for no good reason. Could it be that both sides are right? New car buyers in the UK are reportedly flocking to Hyundai dealers in droves with a bevy of older vehicles in tow. According to Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai UK's managing director:
"For many [the scrappage scheme] is an opportunity to buy their first ever new car, and is enormously exciting. Some people look a little embarrassed when they turn up at a showroom with an old car which is literally falling to pieces but we're happy to take anything as long as it meets the government's criteria. Other buyers have taken the decision to wave goodbye to cars which have been in the family for a generation, but their sadness soon disappears when they get into their new Hyundai."
So, just what kinds of cars are being traded in? The Korean automaker reports that both a Jaguar XJ-S and XJ6 have both been scrapped, as have 34 BMWs, 22 Audis and 32 vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. Six Mazda MX-5's, seven MGFs, a 1966 Austin 1100 and a 1968 Morris Minor were also sent to the great scrapheap in the sky along with at least one Citroen that lost a wheel on the way to the dealership.

[Source: The Green Car Website | Photo: Matt and Kim Rudge]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Waaah, waaah, waaah, old cars might get sent to the crusher. And? These complaints are probably from the same sheeple who probably chuck their wireless phones every few months for a flashier digital brick to impress your friends. Nobody's making anyone take the incentives offered or the car in operation. If you wanna collect cars, put them in a damn garage and shut up.

      The policy is about public benefit (boosting the economy while cutting down emissions) which is more important than your superficial transportation preference. The complainers need to get over themselves and their stupid worship of possessions.

        • 5 Years Ago
        @UltimoDragon

        If you believe that, then you're a sad deluded fool. This has nothing to do with being green or building a sustainable economy. It has to do with a bunch of politicians trying to be seen to be green to jump on a bandwagon and get re-elected, while trying desperately to propagate an economic system that needs radical overhaul and using our tax money to do it.

        It may interest you to know that the British version of this idiot scheme DOESN'T EVEN LIMIT the CO2 output of the new car that the old one gets traded in on. As a result, two of the first new cars purchased under the scheme were NISSAN GT-Rs that spew out so much carbon they're in the top road tax bracket.

        Also, I would be interested to know how many of the oldest cars mentioned actually had MOTs. Because the British government are super-incompetent (see the above paragraph and believe me - I have the great misfortune to live here and can promise that British incompetence goes waaaaaay deeper than just this!), as well as not specifying that the new car you buy needs to emit under a certain level of CO2, they also apparently forgot to close another loophole which states that if your current car is SORN (ie, you've filled out a form to say you're storing it off-road and so don't need to tax or MOT it) then dealers can take that in part-exchange, no matter what the condition. There are numerous rusted-out XJS's, XJ6's and Minors sitting in peoples' barns, any number of which may be SORN'd and guess what - they're not emitting any CO2 at all. But the brand new cars they can get turned in on will be.

        Oh yeah, and let's not even ask how much pollution Hyundai factories create in the process of churning out all those i10s.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Have you wondered where the majority of those 4,000 people in the UK have got money to buy a brand new car having driven around in a banger for at least a year to be able to trade it in? I'd imagine plenty of naive people will go for this and take out more credit that nobody has and best of all, we the tax payer are paying for half of this for the people to get these new cars with the £1k govt. discount.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sad, sad, sad. Short sighted policy leads to unintended consequences, though the scrapping of classic iron probably was probably always a part of the statists' master plan. People have this annoying habit of looking out for their self interests and getting what they want as best they can and as affordably as they can, and there's no telling what the consequences of the current wave of eco-friendly automotive initiatives will be. After all, SUV sales going through the roof was one consequence of previous increases in automobile CAFE standards. No more large cars to buy? Shucks, let's just get a large truck, instead. I'm not hopeful that things will go any better this go around. . . . Serves the statists right, if you ask me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is it bad if I'm feeling bad for the miatas that are being scrapped? At least part them out - freaking second generation tail lights are beyond impossible to come by. (I had to get both of mine replaced this month)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm with you on that, I'd gladly take another five speed for to park in my garage just in case. I suppose you could say that about any of those cars though - in nearly every case, there's a community who would gladly cut the cars up for parts rather than see everything turned into soda cans.

        And if you want body parts, I'd try either the Miata.net classifieds or the guys at partsgroup.com. The partsgroup guys in particular cut up Miatas all the time and have lots of body parts kicking around.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "with at least one Citroen that lost a wheel on the way to the dealership."

      hahaha
      • 5 Years Ago
      "..a 1966 Austin 1100 and a 1968 Morris Minor were also sent to the great scrapheap in the sky.."

      Noooooooooooooo......
        • 5 Years Ago
        Amen, brother, amen. Not the Moggy! Sad to see some of these classics removed from the road. Practical Classics lamented this aspect of the cash-for-clunkers program when it was first proposed. Seems there was come cause for alarm.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not only are we scrapping some great cars but we're borrowing future prosperity so we can apply it today. Shouldn't there be a rule that you can swap out a like kind and quality car for any of these that are to be scrapped so someone can drop off a beater Corolla and pick up a nice classic Austin or something? Why would the govt care as long as the car being crushed gets mileage below the mileage threshold?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The "32 vehicles from Mercedes-Benz" are less surprising in light of an episode of Top Gear I saw recently... May in a Rolls Mulliner Park Ward vs. Clarkson in a Mercedes Grosser... they were comparing their last service bills.

      May's Rolls: just over 200 pounds.
      Clarkson's Mercedes: something over 15,000 pounds.

      Clarkson was protesting that it needed quite a few things, and May asked if the service included a new Golf. Old Mercedes are apparently pricey to keep running in the UK. My oldest friend is a Mercedes tech at a dealership and he tells me they're no picnic to keep up in the states, either.
        • 5 Years Ago
        After owning 2 Audis I can tell you I'm staying away from the German cars next time. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but I cannot afford to keep them running.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Grosser Mercedes is a special case. It had all kinds of one-off engineering that is unobtainium now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This will happen to a lesser degree in the US because of th 18mpg clause in our cash for clunkers. Even most old cars don't qualify, unless they're malaise era.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They are destroying a part of UK's automotive history by crushing those old Austins and Morrises.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This was my concern with this as soon as I heard about it. I've been looking for a 240-280z in the sub $4000 range and now I'm worried that anything in that price range that's running is going to get scrapped.

      Are there any limitations on the age of the model in the U.S. version of this program?
      • 5 Years Ago
      @MGYB: I haven't seen any of the cars you just mentioned on the road in the past decade. So it's kind of a stupid point.
      • 5 Years Ago
      im after a cheap xjs wit tax and mot, loads that have neither going cheap but need 2 much work 2 sort out on a budget. i hope thats the only one that gets scrapped thats drivable!
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