6 May 2009

German car sales continue to rise

5:50 am on 6 May 2009

Car sales in Germany climbed 19% in April compared with the same time a year ago, as a trade-in plan to scrap old cars continued to encourage purchases.

The VDA automobile federation said new vehicle registrations totalled 380,000 last month.

However, the rise was not as sharp as March, when sales rose by 40%.

Germans have been taking advantage of a scheme that gives drivers 2,500 euros ($US3,170) for trading in a car more than nine years old.

The scheme will be phased out by the end of 2009. Britain is introducing a similar scheme this month.

However, vehicle production in Germany has been hit hard by the downturn, falling 34% in April from a year earlier. Exports fell 48%.

Other data issued this week showed that new car sales fell by 7% in France and by 7.5% in Italy.