• Mar 24, 2009
Germany recently began a scrapping incentive program that gives buyers €2,500 to get rid of their old cars and buy new ones. The plan helped create a 21% jump in car sales during the month of February, even though the plan didn't take effect until February 20. It was the kind of success that has both the UK and the U.S. mulling over such a program, and has Germany considering doubling the incentive plan by adding another €1.5 billion of government money.

The German government hasn't confirmed extending the scrapping program, and there is no word on how much of the initial €1.5 billion in incentive money remains. It has been reported, though, that many in the government are for the extension, and that the government will meet after Easter to discuss. Doing so would also allow everyone to see how the program affected March's full-month sales. Thanks for the tip, Gregg!

[Source: The Local | Photo by creat1on | CC2.0]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I remember reading somewhere that dollar for dollar, the environmental benefit of this program is far greater than most other environmental incentives that the government directs tax dollars into. If you look it at from the perspective of how this program can immediately impact the environment in a positive way, far greater than many other initiatives, then this tax money spent can be seen as a relative bargain and efficient use of the money...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quoted from Autoblog Green:

        "Here's the thing. In America, 84 percent of cars (by weight) are recycled and 95 percent of vehicles go through the recycling process. So, while taking old cars off the road does increase the amount of stuff in landfills and also demands that more resources be taken out of the ground to build the new vehicles, it's not like all these old cars will instantly end up in a junk yard. Plus, there is no way to reduce the overall amount of oil we burn in our cars without one of two things happening: we drive less or we get more efficient cars."

        A good friend of mine had drafted up a proposal and started a lobby to get the Canadian government involved in a "Green Vehicle Exchange" program for years. When he started his project, he did a LOT of research on this and the potential environmental impact. The fact is that not all clunkers are tiny VW Beetles, or early Accords. MANY clunkers are V8's and a huge portion of them are older SUV's from the post minivan/SUV craze era. He had given me the proposal to proof read for him before taking it to the powers that be, however I was not allowed to retain a copy due to a non-disclosure agreement. His sources were legit, many of them coming from scholarly papers. Now that the cat's out of the bag and this program is likely to come to fruition, I will likely try to contact him to acquire a copy of his proposal.

        Vehicle manufacturers today are more efficient at manufacturing new cars than ever. My friends proposal even outlined the amount of resources used when manufacturing new vehicles. With cleaner energy sources starting to expand, the net impact on the environment per vehicle produced continues to decrease. And in this program, the goal is to sell fuel efficient sub-compact and compact vehicles, NOT SUV's.

        What you have read was a vague appeal by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association which represents thousands of independent mechanics shops who naturally look after their own interests.

        I have a feeling that those who want this program to go into effect will release a VERY compelling argument in favor of it, and in the end, it'll be a no brainer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd like to see that article since I've read that the energy needed to crush and dispose of these vehicles combined with the energy needed to produce a new vehicle more than offsets the improved fuel economy and reduced pollution the newer cars would have.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The people helped by this bill will be those who could probably afford a new car anyways but previously weren't going to take on the debt. The ones hurt? The people that would have otherwise been buying thousand dollar clunkers for daily transportation but now can't as they're all being shredded and can't be bought for less than whatever the government's handing out for them.
      The success in Europe of these programs is attributed to the fact that there's a far superior public transportation infrastructure so that lower income people aren't in the same position where they need cars to get around as much. Give me an efficient rail and bus system and safer bike lanes and I'll start thinking a "cash for clunkers" program isn't as much a waste of government money.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dang just give a shot already why so scared of changes people? Where is the out of the box thinking? Must USA copy everything that works in other country? geesh no wonder we are so left behind in many things.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, the tax-payers pay over-market value for a junk car, and then throws it away. Then the previous owner goes and buys a new car, partially with that money.

      And this is economic incentive? Or is it another government money redistribution scheme?

      If government money redistribution schemes worked as economic incentives, we'd have the best economy of all time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a better plan than handing an automaker 30 billion dollars free and clear as they circle the drain. Hopefully they don't just hand them the cash, but a voucher for €2,500 off a new car. Sort of like food stamps for cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, EU_reader, wtf are you talking about?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Stop being such a fearmonger, throwing around words you probably don't even understand. Socialism, communism, marxism, Macarthyism. It's all about creating a polarising climate insteed of thinking like normal human beings.

        Soon Americans will run out of -ism's to express their Fox News/Rush Limbaugh inspired hate-talk, aimed at people they don't agree with.

        Let me tell you something, what you have is as far away from 'distribution of wealth' as you can have in a developed country. It's not even close to what you believe it means, let me tell you. So stop using big words until you've given it some thought.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Don't let them scrap Herbie!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think Ken has made some good points in regard to older cars that usually would work great on the used car market for between 1.000 and 1.500€ for cheap transportation. Instead they get traded in as "junk" cars when buying a new one or one that has been previously registered as a dealer's car. Although sometimes the incentive lets you take an easy way out as with my mother’s ‘95 Golf Cabriolet that had just 120.000 km on the clock (working perfectly with no mechanical problems whatsoever and good equipment on board like double airbags etc) which was traded in when buying a new BMW120i Convertible. It probably would have fetched the same price on the used car market (maybe a little more) but now the dealer takes care of all written work and so on to receive the 2.500€ incentive and disposes of the old car. Saves my dad the hassle of posting the car and selling it himself.

      As for numbers: The debate rising up in the last few days has a strong political connotation as Germany has a general election in fall ’09. So some of the comments regarding the extension of the incentives program is pure politics. Fact is that by the end of this week 350.000 new/almost new cars have been bought (or contracts have been signed) using the 2.500€ payment per purchase. What is left from the original 1.5 billion € will last for another 250.000 vehicle purchases and politicians as well as car lobbyists are warning that by Easter the money will be all used up…
      • 5 Years Ago
      This sort of subsidy gets my UHF award.

      A quote from the movie UHF, "STOO-pid, you so STOO-PID!!!!"

      Subsidizing trash with taxpayer money, and encouraging over-leveraging debt...

      How about letting people scrap or buy cars on their own initiative? Oh, wait... People don't know how to walk or talk without the government's help, let alone live their own lives. The mantra of encroaching socialist controls.

      How long until a government "suggestion" or "encouragement" becomes a mandate, or enforceable at the point of a gun? Oh, wait, we already have the IRS... and government spending future money at a rate unheard of in the history of the civilized world.
      • 5 Years Ago
      EU, you stop being such a fearmonger, throwing around accusations not based on any fact. You obviously have never even watched the Fox News Channel, Let alone listen to Rush Limbaugh or you would never use the words "hate talk". To you "hate talk" is anything that disagrees with your point of view. Any time you give money from he taxpayers to reward a certain kind of behaviour you are redistributing money. It's not just when you give it out with no strings attached. That was his point. It wasn't "hate talk".

      Hey, I watched the Fox News Channel last night. They interviewed Democrat strategist and consultant Bob Beckel about the Obama press conference. Wow, really hateful, lol.

      Then I flipped over to MSNBC and Keith Oberman was pronouncing Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisianna, the "Worst Person in the World" (this is some silly assed "award" he gives out) because Jindal was against a government spending program that Oberman liked. So who has the "hate talk" and who has the debate? I'll let the readers decide.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I had a VW Bug that looked like that, but still ran great -- I'd keep it :D
      • 5 Years Ago

      If our Government wants to do something to help car industry, let them freeze for a year all the restrictions because of which GM, Ford and Chrysler cannot sell cars they sell in Europe here - as is, of course. None of that "safety" and "emissions" BS. New cars only.

      I have $30,000 burning a hole in my pocket but won't spend it on anything currently on offer here while car I own is running perfectly fine.
    • Load More Comments