PARIS -- French car buyers have already used half of the 200,000-vehicle allotment for an increased trade-in bonus to boost sales after coronavirus lockdowns, the government said this week.
After falling by 75 percent in March, 89 percent in April and 57 percent in May, new-car registrations rose by 1.2 percent in June, the first monthly increase since December. The trade-in program started June 1.
It provides for a bonus of up to 5,000 euros for buyers who trade in older, higher-emissions vehicles for new and used ones that meet the latest EU emissions standards. It is part of an 8 billion-euro package to support the auto industry that was announced at the end of May.
Full-electric vehicles are eligible for a 5,000-euro bonus, while gasoline or diesel models have a 3,000-euro bonus. Eligible cars can emit no more than 137 g/km of CO2, and there are income limits for buyers. France has relaxed income requirements so that 75 percent of French households are eligible, President Emmanuel Macron said.
Ivan Segal, sales and marketing director for Renault France, said that 30 percent of registrations in June for the Renault and Dacia brands involved a trade-in under the program, the French automotive website JournalAuto reported.
France has also increased rebates for new full-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Buyers who combine those rebates with a trade-in bonus could receive up to 12,000 euros off the price of a new electric vehicle.
The French economic minister, Bruno le Maire, said no decision had been made on extending the trade-in bonuses, but he did not rule it out.
"Before the end of the summer the 200,000 will be used up, and we will see what decisions we make and if there is any reason to extend the program," he said at a news conference on Thursday, according to French media reports.