Germany's Scheme to Scrap Cars Sparks Sales Explosion

Sales mostly go to small cars
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2009 1:00 PM CST
In this Jan. 21, 2009, a crane gets up junk cars on a scrap yard in Bremen, Germany.   (AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach, file)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Automakers are running out of gas all over the world—except in Germany. Volkswagen expects to have its best February ever, selling 120,000 cars, while GM subsidiary Opel has sold 40,000, its best month in 5 years, Der Spiegel reports. It’s all thanks to the scrapping bonus,” a government program that gives consumers $4,500 to junk their old rides. One thing: They must immediately buy a new car.

“The scrapping bonus in Germany has led to an extreme boost,” said one exec at Renault, which owns Dacia in Germany. “Orders have jumped six-fold.” Of course, not everyone’s feeling the scrapping love. While small, cheap cars roll out of dealerships at a record rate, big car sales have tanked. Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, and Audi are all struggling. (Read more Germany stories.)