February 6, 2012
There is no longer any trace of the car scrappage bonus scheme in the German automobile market. In 2009, the economic stimulus programme had led to a 23% increase in new car registrations and at the same time really shook up the market. For instance, as commercial owners were not eligible for the bonus, their share in new car registrations fell markedly, while registrations by private owners rose noticeably. The latter predominantly bought small and compact-class cars, most of which are petrol-engined, driving down the diesel share of new registrations in turn. As foreign producers are well positioned mainly in the petrol-driven small car segment, they were able to markedly expand their share of the German car market in 2009. This came at the expense of German carmakers who are the leaders mainly in the luxury segment and in diesel technology.
In the meantime the picture has changed again completely. All the above-mentioned indicators returned to their pre-scrappage-bonus levels in 2011. So in the final analysis, the scrappage bonus kick-started Germany’s car market at a time of economic weakness but had only a short-lived structural impact.