Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 16:01 UK

German car sales continue to rise

VW production line at factory in Wolfsburg
Germans are being encouraged to trade in their old cars for new models

German car sales climbed 19% in April compared with the same time a year ago, as a trade-in plan to scrap old cars continued to encourage purchases.

The VDA automobile federation said new vehicle registrations totalled 380,000 last month.

However, the rise was not as sharp as March, when sales leapt by 40%.

Germans have been taking advantage of a scheme that gives drivers 2,500 euros (£2,220; $3,170) for trading in a car more than nine years old.

The scheme will be phased out by the end of 2009. The UK is introducing a similar scheme this month.

Germany has been a rare bright spot for car sales.

Data released this week showed that new car sales fell by 7% in France and by 7.5% in Italy.

However, vehicle production in Germany has been hit hard by the downturn, falling 34% in April from a year earlier. Exports fell 48%.



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