Advertisement

Germans scrap clunkers as Americans hang on to theirs longer than ever

Follow Nelson

The German scrapping program is credited with new car sales jumping up 21% in February

The German scrapping program is credited with new car sales jumping up 21% in February

Enlarge Photo
The U.S. Senate killed the 'Cash for Clunkers' bill in February on the argument that it wouldn't have enough of an impact. While they may have been right - the bill only allowed for limited incentives - the premise has proven successful in Germany.

Running against a very strong current of downward market trends, Germany reported its highest levels of car sales in 10 years, reports The AP, thanks to the government's bonuses for scrapped cars. A rise of 21% in new car registrations is big even when times are good; compared to sales figures plummeting 40-50% or more, it's miraculous. And the incentives in Germany, though among the highest in Europe, only total about $3,100, or €2,500.

Getting older cars off the streets and replacing them with new ones is good for more than just the carmakers. Emissions and safety have improved by leaps and bounds over the last decade, so the program could also be credited with making the streets safer and cleaner.

In the U.S., the opposite is happening: people are hanging on to older cars longer than ever as the new car market crashes and burns. While it's a fallacy of logic to say that the lack of a 'cash for clunkers' type plan is the cause of the difference, it's not beyond the pale to suggest it might help.

A study by R.L. Polk released today shows that Americans are keeping their cars an average of 9.4 years now, setting a new record. The previous high was 9.2 years.

Will the evidence of Germany's success prompt a reconsideration of the cash for clunkers idea? Or will Americans continue hoarding their old cars as they wait for the economy, and the industry, to fix itself?
Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (2)
  1. the only american cars i actually think are good are old muscle cars and thats because they are supposed to be noisy and clunky which handles like a sourced up salami stick and cheap. but absolutely awesome! im not surprised one it that the american car companies are heading down the crapper real fast.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. My problem with cash for clunkers is that the running vehicles being turned in are destroyed. Why not donate these cars to charity. Those that are in good shape could be given to needy people so they they can have transportation to and from work. Those that are in poor shape could be scrapped with the proceeds going to help fund the mission of the charity.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement

Take Us With You!

 
Advertisement
Advertisement

Research New Cars

Go!


 
© 2014 MotorAuthority. All Rights Reserved. MotorAuthority is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by Homestar, LLC. Send us feedback.