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German Car Sales Up 19 Percent in April

Government incentive program continues to pay off

 |  May 05 2009, 9:28 AM

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The German government’s incentive plan to get its citizens buying cars continues to be a success with sales of new vehicles up 19 percent over the same period last year.

In total 380,000 units were sold, as people cashed-in on the government’s scrappage plan that provides 2,500 Euros (or roughly $3,200) towards a new vehicle when you send your 9-year-old (or older) car to the scrap yard.

The 19 percent increase follows an even more impressive 40 percent surge in sales in the month of March, bringing the yearly total to it’s highest level since 1999 – the current sales record.

Meanwhile, Germany’s European neighbors suffered losses, with Italian and French car sales down 7.5 and 7 percent respectively, while Spanish car sales plummeted 45.6 percent. Both Italy and France are offering incentives while the Spanish government has so far refused to.

The German government launched its scrappage plan in February and has since increased funding for the project from 1.5 billion Euros to 5 billion Euros, to ensure it can run until the end of ’09.

The Obama administration has repeated that it is looking in to a scrappage plan to boost U.S. auto sales but no plan has yet to be put in place.

[Source: Automotive News]