New car sales leap in Germany, rise in France but fall in Italy
3 June 2009

New car registrations in Germany rose 40 per cent year-on-year in May, with the country's scrappage scheme credited for the bulk of the rise.

Sales increased to about 390,000 units compared with the same month last year, according to the reuters news agency.

In February, the German government launched a subsidy that pays motorists 2500 Euros (£2160) to scrap cars at least nine years old if they buy a new model from any car maker in exchange.

The German government has invest five billion Euros (£4.3 billion) in the scheme, which runs out at the end of this year.

In France, which also has a scrappage scheme, new car sales rose by 11.9 per cent in May, to 206,387 units.

France offers new car buyers a 1000 Euro (£864) subsidy for scrapping a 10-year-old car, as well as an additional 700 Euro (£605) environmental bonus for buyers of cars with CO2 emissions below 120g/km.

However, the effect of scrapping incentives appears to be waning in Italy, where new car sales dropped 8.6 per cent in May, to 188,670 units.

The May decline marked the second consecutive month in which sales have fallen despite scrapping incentives of up to 5000 Euros (£4316), which were introduced last February.

James Stiff

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