Countries looking to shore up their lagging auto sales now have a shining example to follow in Germany, Europe's largest market for new car sales. In February, sales rose by 21%, which is an astounding figure when you look at the results for the same period in other countries, including the United States, as the weak global economy puts a stranglehold on consumer pocketbooks.

What's the secret? Germany has recently instituted a new set of incentives that pays motorists €2,500 to scrap their old car in exchange for a new, more fuel efficient model. Domestic manufacturers reaped the largest rewards, posting a 63% gain in February orders.

Could such a system work in the United States? It's possible, but the costs of such a stimulus would be huge and there are a number of organizations vehemently opposed to the idea that it's a good practice to remove older machines from the roadways. Still, it's a thought that could gain traction based on the success that Germany has achieved.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd | Photo: nico.cavallotto]