AvtoVAZ says it has now sold 18,734 cars as part of the Russian government’s “cash for clunkers” scrappage incentive scheme.

Under the program, which started operating on March 8, owners of cars produced before 2000 can receive bonuses worth 50,000 roubles to buy new Russian-made cars in exchange for recycling their old cars.

AvtoVAZ’ dealers have so far received over 135,000 bids under the program, the press office said.

AvtoVAZ has also said it is raising output in response to higher demand for low-cost models such as the Lada 2105/2107 model range.

AvtoVAZ plans to produce a total of 45,900 cars in May, 6.8% above its production plan for April.

The scrappage incentive will be in operation till November 1. The Industry and Trade Ministry believes the program could stimulate sales of about 200,000 new cars.

JD Power forecasts that cars sales in Russia will increase by 10% this year to around 1.6m units.