Germany enjoys boom in car sales

Figures have revealed that a new car-scrapping bonus in Germany has helped car sales soar to their highest level since the country's reunification in the early 1990s.

New car registrations rose to 401,000 in March, an increase of 40% on the previous year, according to the VDA industry group. This is the highest volume since 1992, during Germany's post-reunification boom.

Breaking down the figures further, the group revealed that new car registrations for the whole of the first quarter were up 18% to 868,100. New registrations of company cars saw a 27% increase to stand at 244,400 in March, while foreign brands rose 65% to 156,000.

VDA said it now expects 2009 sales in Germany to come in "significantly over" last year's level of 3.09 million cars, particularly in light of a recently-introduced £2,300 bonus for people who scrap ageing cars and buy new ones.

The German government originally set aside £1.3 billion - enough to cover about 600,000 sales - but has now confirmed that it will expand the funding to keep the programme going for the rest of 2009.

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