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Last month China proposed a plan to offer consumers a cash incentive to scrap their cars and buy new ones. Germany is the latest country looking at the same option, with a law that aims to give €2,500 to people getting rid of cars that are at least nine years old and buying new ones.

China may want to watch what happens in Germany: so far, interest in the program looks like it could exceed the available funds. The German government set aside €1.5 billion for reimbursements, which is enough to reward 600,000 people. But in just two days, the office that will look after the program got 420,000 phone calls. One German market research firm put the potential number of takers at 1.2 million.

If the measure passes into law as is, then early birds would get the incentive worm. The €1.5 billion is coming out of a €50 billion German stimulus plan, aimed at reviving the automotive, transport, and education sectors, and it wouldn't seem out of the question for them to double the allotted funds to allow all to participate. Although no one knows how much the program would help German automakers -- people might scrap their cars and buy Fords -- it would put money back into the economy and get cleaner cars on the roads to boot. Hat tip to Gregg!

[Source: Der Spiegel | Photo: Ms. Martin]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Damn! The pictured Mercedes is still a fine looking machine.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What a terrible waste. Guess everything's disposable these days.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hahaha, even if they buy Fords, it would still be okay, as most are produced in Germany anyway.

      Opel and Ford Europe mainly operate from Germany, with a few assembly plants spread around the continent. Ford Europe is almost a complete different company from Ford North America ... They just happen to be part of the same Corporation. But design, manufacturing, and most of the strategic decisions and financing is done independent of the HQ. So, by all practical purpose, Ford Europe is a German car manufacturer, just like VW, and Daimler, and BMW, exact that the ownership of Ford is mostly in American hands, and that of Daimler, in Arabic hands.
        • 6 Years Ago
        *exact* should have read 'except' ... :D
      • 6 Years Ago

      You can now get a brand new Dacia Sandero for 5.000€ in Germany (and this is the truth).
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is OLD. And I mean OLD! Well, sure it's new for germany and autoblog, but other countries have been doing this for YEARS. Oh, and please retrain yourself from saying anything about the environmental impact this measure will bring to Germany, because it changed absolutely nothing in other countries.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sounds a lot like the US House copied this for their "Cash for Clunkers" program they are trying to sneak into the 850 billion dolar US stimulus package. They try to pass it off as green to get a bunch of support from environmentally focused people when it is actually designed to give a kickback to the unions and corporations.

      SEMA's Action Network opposes this legisleation sponsored by Nancy Pelosi as it will have a negative effect on the collector car hobby and aftermarket parts manufacturers as it is trying to drive the older cars off the road on an untrue premise that they are dirty. In reality we could do a lot more my making sure all cars are properly maintained for emmisions rules. The net energy used to fix/maintain an older car cannot be much compared to that of manufacturing a new vehicle. And lest we forget that here in the states we had vehicles in 1990 that had higher gas milage than modern econoboxes (think Geo Metro, Ford Escort 2D).
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think 1979 was the first full requirement for cataltic converters on all cars, I think a few had them earlier but in VW land it was 1979.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ummm why not just keep the old cars running for as long as possible (and retrofit them with emission-limiting technologies if necessary)? Isn't that more ECONOMICAL?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is NOT a green solution. Driving a car as long as possible minimizes the impact to our environment. Do not believe the suedo-hippies who want new shiny cars every few years.

      • 6 Years Ago
      This isn't about economics. It's just a infusion for the german car manufacturers
      • 6 Years Ago
      LOL Gardiner I was thinking the same thing! I thought that baby just needs a little TLC and she would make a great little ride for a new driver. Or a daily driver. Even better if the interior is trashed because everyone in high school trashed thier interior. People got pissed when i wouldnt let them bring drinks and food or smoke in my car. I didnt want it smelling like Mickey Ds or Wendy's greaseball burgers!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      European Ford is build in Germany
        • 6 Years Ago
        European Ford is build in

        Germany: Cologne Plant (Fiesta,Fusion), Saarlouis Plant (Focus, C-Max, Kuga)
        Belgium: Genk Plant (Mondeo, Galaxy, S-Max)
        Spain: Valencia Plant (Focus)
        Great Britain: Southampton Plant (Transit)
        Turkey: Kocaeli Plant (Transit, Transit Connect)
        Romania: Craiova Plant (will build Transit Connect)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Am I the only person on here who is sad to see a Mercedes w126 body in the boneyard?
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