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September 3, 2009

GERMANY: German car sales up 28% in August

New car registrations in Germany were up 28% in August in the rush to buy ahead of the ending of the hugely successful scrappage scheme.

New car registrations in Germany were up 28% in August in the rush to buy ahead of the ending of the hugely successful scrappage scheme.

VDA president Matthias Wissmann told a news conference that carmakers were not looking for any more handouts to soften the impact in 2010, when the German market is widely expected to fall back.

“We are not demanding any new subsidies after the scrapping bonus. When the global economy recovers the German automotive industry will gain market share due to the strength of our products,” he said.

However, analysts believe that the German car market and industry will face challenges in 2010 when the German car market experiences the ‘payback’ that follows a ‘pull-forward’ of future sales as buyers took advantage of the temporary scrappage incentive.

The German government’s EUR5bn (US$7.1bn) scrappage fund could run dry by 10 September, according to estimates from the Centre for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

The fund has been credited with fuelling demand for new cars during the first half of the year, helping to boost sales by 23% year on year.

Industry observers believe that the German car market could slump to between 2.6-2.8 million after reaching 3.8 million units this year.

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