Government scrappage incentive programmes gave a major boost to car sales in August in Europe and the United States.
France has said its scheme could be extended beyond December, when it is due to expire. French car sales rose seven percent compared with the same month last year, however sales of light utility vehicles, which are mostly not eligible for the scrapping bonuses, fell by a 25 percent. It Italy car sales were up by 8.5 percent while in Spain they were flat in August halting their decline after 16 straight months of falls. Many governments have introduced bonus schemes to encourage drivers to trade in old cars for new, less-polluting models. Carmakers have called for a gradual phasing out to prevent sales plummeting when the schemes end. A rebate scheme which has just ended in the United States fuelled demand there. Overall sales were up. Ford sold 17 percent more cars, but lack of inventory meant Chrysler’s sales fell 15 percent.