Mae­stro in skip scrap­page row

Vaux­hall an­gered by fran­chised dealer’s pub­lic­ity stunt

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page - Nick Larkin­vaux­

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.

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