Maestro in skip scrappage row
Vauxhall angered by franchised dealer’s publicity stunt
A franchised Vauxhall dealer’s publicity stunt involving a 1988 beige Austin Maestro displayed in a skip outside its premises has sparked a major backlash.
Drive Vauxhall in Haverhill, Suffolk, is using the Maestro to illustrate Vauxhall’s nationally backed new Scrappage scheme – even though the Austin is not one of the cars traded in for up to £2000 off a new vehicle.
Drive Vauxhall is one of Britain’s largest privately owned automotive retail groups with 11 dealerships. Vauxhall has distanced itself from the Maestro display, which has also prompted major criticism from classic car fans on social media.
‘We have seen the picture of the Austin Maestro outside the Vauxhall dealership and would like to emphasise that this vehicle has not been presented as part of Vauxhall’s Scrappage Programme,’ comments spokesman Simon Hucknall.
He adds that had this car been presented as part of the programme, Vauxhall would have been alerted by Autogreen, its recycling partner, due to its age, and a relevant owners club would have been alerted, giving members the chance to purchase parts from the car.
Chairperson of the Maestro and Montego Owners’ Club, Tanya Field says: ‘We are very surprised that a major dealer fails to understand the history of the British motor industry. The car will have got damaged being put in the skip. Maestros are now rare cars and should not be treated like this. We will be speaking to the dealership.’
However, Drive Vauxhall’s sales ‘No-one said anything about the Maestro being a classic’ DRIVE VAUXHALL DIRECTOR director James Seager says: ‘We’ve had no complaints and no-one has said anything about the Maestro being a classic car. As far as we are concerned the car is a write-off. It had been standing in a field for years.’
Vauxhall’s Hucknall counters: ‘As a vehicle manufacturer that respects Britain’s motoring heritage, no matter what the make or model, we would make sure that this Maestro was treated with respect.’
The 1988 Maestro is on SORN and hasn’t been MoT’d since 2008.