Mitsubishi bucks trend as other manufacturers fail to meet plug-in car demand
23 February 2016
Following the announcement that the Government subsidy for plug-in hybrid vehicles will be halved from March 1, a number of manufacturers have experienced a spike in demand, which has seen business customers struggling to source some of the most popular models, including the BMW 330e.
Mitsubishi, however, has confirmed to BusinessCar that it will be honouring the current £5000 Plug-in Car Grant terms until the end of February, as it has sufficient stock to fulfill orders through to the close of business on February 29 under the current system. The new grant, which comes into place in March, meanwhile, will see funding for plug-in hybrid vehicles drop to £2500.
"It is fair to say we are rather busy taking Outlander PHEV orders", Richard Shortridge, Mitsubishi residual value manager told BusinessCar. "I would expect that the BMW news will send more customers our way over the coming days. My understanding is that both Merc and Volvo are also only accepting PHEV orders based on the lower £2500 grant levels now."
Responding to these claims, a spokesperson for Volvo stated: "We've sold more in the last two weeks than we expected and we've used up our allocation of cars, so all future orders are subject to the £2500 grant".
"All new orders for the C350e taken from 17 February onwards will be paid out with the new lower rate of £2500 instead of the £5000 grant," a Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman told BusinessCar. "For B250e the lower grant is £4500 and S500e will be excluded from the PICG due to the £60,000 price cap on luxury vehicles."
"The reason for this is each manufacturer has been allocated a maximum number of cars for which OLEV [Office for Low Emission Vehicles] will pay out at the current £5000 grant. Any vehicles above this volume cap will be paid out at the new lower grants as specified by OLEV," the spokeswoman added.
"The caps are developed in conjunction with car makers sales targets, and once these have been exceeded, the grant level is reduced to the post-1 March level," a spokesman for OLEV told BusinessCar.
Mitsubishi's Shortridge also claimed that there has been sustained interest in used Outlander PHEVs, with Mitsubishi responding with the introduction of £299 used PCP deals: "We are seeing high levels of interest in the first used examples back to the market. The Mitsubishi network has already sold new 1300 used PHEVs driven by a £299 used PCP deal".
Meanwhile, leading leasing company Lex Autolease claimed it has seen a jump in interest ahead of the lower subsidy rates going live on 1 March: "We have seen unprecedented interest in plug in hybrid vehicles in recent weeks, as customers place orders ahead of the implementation of changes in the OLEV grants," Andy Hartley, commercial director at Lex Autolease told BusinessCar.
"As a result, a number of manufacturers requested we reduce the level of support available in advance of the deadline on 29th February. We are not aware of any [order] cancellations at present," he added.