Car sales are booming in Germany, thanks to a Govt- backed new cars for old plan.

Germany’s car sales for jumped by 40% over last year’s – and much of that rise is down to the country’s new-cars-for-old scrappage scheme.

German buyers snapped up 401,000 cars last month, figures for car import body VDIK showed. These figures have been boosted by a scheme backed by the German government. Buyers of cars that are new or up to a year old receive just over £2000 if they scrap a car which is at least nine years old. So far, Germany has ploughed £1.5bn into the scheme, to support the auto industry.

The UK car industry has lobbied the government to introduce a similar plan. Although sceptical at first, Ministers now support such a scheme and it is expected that Alistair Darling will announce one later this month, with an expected start-date in June.

Italy also has such a scheme and car sales there are also riding high. However, not every car maker is fully behind such schemes. Mercedes-Benz is among those who have raised doubts, predicting that there would be a marked slump in sales once the rebate ended.

Stephen Jury


April 3, 2009