|Auto makers are pushing European governments to continue their "cash for clunkers" programs, fearing that the fragile industry may face a major slowdown if the rebate programs end.|
The moves come as Germany and Britain are winding down their scrappage programs, which are aimed at getting buyers to turn in less-fuel-efficient vehicles and buy new cars with better mileage. Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. and others say they are helping Russia get a scrappage program off the ground.
"We would like to continue the scrappage programs or we would like a more general winddown of the programs instead of letting them just come to a quick end," John Fleming, chief executive of Ford's European operations, said in an interview."
.....But car makers in Germany doubt the popular car-scrapping program there is likely to be picked up again anytime soon. The government pumped €5 billion into the plan, which ran out at the start of this month. Nearly two million German consumers participated in the program, which largely benefited mass-market auto makers like Volkswagen AG and Ford.
But skeptics say the program simply delayed a slump. Though car orders still being processed will fuel sales for a few more months, some analysts say German car sales next year could drop by one million cars from this year's expected 3.5 million.
"We said from the beginning it is not what we support," said BMW AG's finance chief, Friedrich Eichiner, of the way the short-term incentives were structured. "Others demanded it, and now they got it."
Spending taxpayer money to sell cars simply move up the car buyer's buy time while putting the country in more debt. Now you have the artifical sales bump, you have people who now expect "free money" or they won't buy a car. Eventually everyone has to pay for this program.