PARIS -- Scrapping incentives and other forms of purchase-price subsidies continued to affect new-car sales across Europe in May, but results varied from country to country.
In France, which launched one of the first scrapping incentives earlier this year, new-car sales rose by 11.9 percent in May, to 206,387 units, when compared with the same month last year, the French car manufacturers association CCFA said Tuesday.
France offers new-car buyers a 1,000 euro subsidy for scrapping a 10-year-old car, as well as an additional 700 euro environmental bonus for buyers of cars with CO2 emissions below 120 grams per kilometer.
Big boost in Britain
Britain's car scrappage scheme has boosted sales by 35,000 vehicles since its introduction in April, the government said in late-May.
Pressure on the government from the U.K. auto industry pressure resulted in the introduction of a £300 million ($483 milion) scrapping scheme that lets motorists trade in cars that are more than 10 years old for a £2,000 subsidy on a new model.
One in five orders in the first two weeks of the scheme, which runs until March 2010 or until the funding is used up, were scrappage orders, the government said.
Less pain in Spain
Spain, which launched a 2,000 euro purchase-price subsidy for buyers who scrap older cars in early May, has yet to see a major change, but industry and government officials are optimistic that a sales bounce is coming.
Spanish car sales fell for the 13th consecutive month in May, but the 38 percent drop was slightly lower than that seen in previous months.
New-car sales dropped to 71,161 units in May from 116,112 in the same month last year, Spanish car manufacturers association Anfac said in a statement.
That compares with a 45.6 percent drop in April, and represents the smallest fall since September 2008, when sales were down 32 percent.
Anfac is predicting a sales turnaround as car buyers begin taking advantage of the 200 million euro ($279.9 million) subsidy plan.
The effect of scrapping incentives appears to be waning in Italy, where new-car sales dropped 8.6 percent in May, to 188,670 units. Through five months, Italian sales are down 14.7 percent to 918,018.
The May decline marked the second consecutive month in which sales have fallen despite scrapping incentives of up to 5,000 euros introduced last February.
Italian automaker associations ANFIA and UNRAE warned that new-vehicle orders declined in May, which would seem to signal still lower sales figures in the coming months.
Germany reports its sales results tomorrow. In April, because of scrapping incentives, the country's new-car registrations rose 19.4 percent to nearly 380,000 units.