Tuesday 5 May 2009

Car sales up again by 19.4% (DE)

Most international car markets are seeing minus double digits (U.S. sales were down 37.4% in April), in Germany, the market continues to respond widely to the government's incentive scheme to scrap old cars and buy new ones that was introduced in February. Following a 40% jump in car sales in March to around 401,000 units, new car registrations rose by 19.4% in April, to about 380,000 units.

According to the data provided from the VDIK car importers association, new car sales in Germany during the first 4 months of the year are at their best level since the record year of 1999.

The incentive scheme pays owners €2,500 to scrap vehicles at least 9 years old if they go and buy a new car from any carmaker in exchange. After seeing the success of the measure, the German government decided to extend the scheme until the end of year.

What's more, the scheme has also significant environmental benefits as older vehicles with higher CO2 emissions are being replaced by newer, cleaner and of course, more fuel efficient models. According to VDIK President Volker Lange, CO2 emissions from the cars registered in Germany during the first quarter of the year were down by around 6.5% over a year ago.

The UK has will introduce a similar scheme within a few weeks, where cars, vans or taxi's 10 years old + can be scrapped for any new vehicle (car, taxi & commercial vehicle) - there are no CO2 emissions limit like other EU countries, however, the scheme will only last until March 2010 or whenever the grant runs out. Only 300,000 people can benefit from the UK scrappage scheme since £300m is available. Response has so far been positive.

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