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Germany and France are reporting impressive increases in new vehicle registrations for March. Registrations for March increased a whopping 40 percent in Germany and the French automobile association (CCFA) is reporting an 8.1 rise in that country's vehicle registrations. Though a scant 0.24 percent, Italy is making noise about its first vehicle registration increase in a year.
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It is believed that so-called European governmental "scrapping" programs, a proposal we call Cash for Clunkers in the U.S., is a big driving force behind the registration and sales boosts.
Automotive News says these European developments are "raising eyebrows" in the U.S., which has been trying to pass a Cash For Clunkers program for some time now. Holding that program up is a debate as to whether such an incentive should give American buyers money towards the purchase of American vehicles only. The Europeans, of course, feel that it should apply to all vehicles purchased in the U.S.
In Germany, new car sales rose by 21.5 percent in February, the first month of the scrapping initiative. Italy believes that its 0.24 percent registration turnaround is the sign of significant sales boosts for April and May. The CCFA credits 30 to 40 percent of French auto sales in March to scrapping incentives.
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[source: Automotive News]