In a worrying move that could result in thousands of serviceable vehicles currently hovering on the cusp of retro classic status being consigned to the scrap heap, Ford has recently launched a new scrappage scheme that aims to remove from the road what the company refers to as ‘less fuel efficient vehicles’.

Under the new scheme, passenger car customers will be able to save £2000 (inc VAT) and commercial vehicle customers the same amount excluding VAT on a selected range of brand new Ford vehicles. The company’s last scrappage scheme resulted in 25,500 customers trading in their older vehicles for models equipped with the company’s latest emissions and fuel efficiency technology and it’s highly likely the current scheme will see an equal number being weighed in.

Andy Barratt, Managing Director of Ford of Britain, said the scheme “will help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of older vehicles”. Barratt went on to say how the company’s new scrappage scheme “will not only help to remove some of the oldest vehicles from the parc, it will also introduce customers to the latest fuel-efficient technologies and the scheme will have a positive impact on the environment”.

Any make of passenger car or commercial vehicle is eligible for the scheme if it was registered on or before December 31, 2012 and has been owned by the customer for at least 90 days. Customers must order a new selected Ford vehicle between July 1 and March 31 2020 to qualify for the payment. The Ford dealership will then arrange for the vehicle to be scrapped at an Authorised Treatment Facility and a Certificate of Destruction issued.

When we asked a Ford spokesperson what would happen to any interesting vehicles taken in part exchange on this scheme, we were told that very few genuine classics turned up during the previous scheme and to prevent any classics going to the crusher, anything classified by the DVLA as a ‘historic vehicle’ would not be automatically scrapped.

This means that dealers have the discretion to be flexible if a ‘historic vehicle’ is presented but while this is reassuring, the bad news is that the 2012 cut-off date will obviously include a sizeable batch of interesting vehicles. Many of these vehicles will be rapidly heading towards retro or full-blown classic status and as a result will be wiped out, making any survivors even more interesting.