As reported a few weeks ago, Germany has said "yes" to extending its scrapping program. The program pledged €1.5 billion to be given out in €2,500 increments to those scrapping their old cars in order to buy new ones. The program extension adds another €3.5 billion and will be available to buyers until the end of 2009. So far 1.3 million people have applied for the incentive, the extra funds will allow a total of 2 million to take advantage. Thanks for the tip, Gregg!
Last month, Germany posted a whopping 40 percent increase in new car sales, an improvement over February's 21.5% gain that is again being attributed to that country's vehicle scrapping program. Similar programs in Italy and France have also reversed the trend of falling sales figures.
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.
Now here's a story that won't take many Europeans by surprise. Just as GM, Chrysler and Ford get knocked for selling tons of vehicles to rental fleets in the States, BMW and Audi do basically the same thing in Europe. In fact, those two German firms lead the list of automakers who rely the most on fleet sales in their home market. This according to auto motor und sport magazine, which has reported that Audi and BMW "have the fewest private customers of all brands in Germany," with just 33.5% and