Half of German Car Scrapping Premiums Snapped Up

The program helped boost German new car sales by 21.5% in February

Half of available applications for the German government's car scrapping premium have been snapped up in two months, the agency that manages the program said on March 20.

Since late January, 300,674 requests for the 2,500-euro (US$3,400) subsidy were filed from a total 600,000 offered for purchases of cars no more than one year old, figures released by the federal agency Bafa showed.

Buyers must turn in a car at least nine years old to benefit from the scheme, which is to cost a total of 1.5 billion euros and is aimed at helping automakers survive a sector-wide collapse.

The program helped boost German new car sales by 21.5% in February, while they fell almost everywhere else across the 16-nation eurozone.

Small models have proven especially popular, with Volkswagen and Opel reporting brisk sales while luxury brands like BMW have benefitted less.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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