Diesel trade-ins prompted by scandal boost German car sales


Frankfurt am Main (AFP)

Sales of new cars in Germany jumped in November, figures released by the country's automobile industry federation showed Monday, as many drivers cashed in on discounts for upgrading old diesel vehicles.

Some 302,700 new vehicles were registered on the roads of Europe's largest economy last month, an increase of 9.0 percent year-on-year, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) said.

"Growth was very strong in the last month... one reason is the bonuses for trading in old diesel models," VDA chief Matthias Wissmann said in a statement.

Many German automakers have offered discounts to people trading in older diesel vehicles for newer, less polluting wheels in the wake of repeated scandals over trickery in emissions data that made the cars seem less polluting than they were.

In most cases, the offers must be cashed in by the end of the year.

Diesel's share of all new registrations fell, from almost 45 percent a year ago to 34 percent last month.

Consumers' interest in buying German did not let up, with 8.0-percent year-on-year growth in sales for homegrown brands in November, to 212,500 vehicles.

Meanwhile, sales of foreign-made cars added 13 percent to reach 90,200.