Cash-for-clunkers car scheme drives German women to market

19th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Since February, the number of German women buying cars has jumped to a record 39 percent, thanks largely to the recent car-scrapping bonus.

Frankfurt -- Germany's cash-for-clunkers auto premium has drawn more women to Europe's biggest car market than ever before, according to a study released on Thursday.

"Since the federal republic was created, the new car market has been a man's market," said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, Germany's best-known auto expert and director of the CAR research institute.

Women represent 51 percent of the population, but only 35 percent of those who hold drivers' licenses, and around 32 percent of those who actually buy automobiles, according the study.

But since February, the market has witnessed a "small feminine miracle," with the number of women car buyers jumping to a record 39 percent, CAR calculated.

The reason is a car-scrapping bonus that pays 2,500 euros (3,500 dollars) to those who junk a car that is at least nine years old for a new one.

The measure has boosted sales of smaller, cheaper cars, which are more often owned by women, whereas "the classic masculine - or perhaps macho-auto - is and remains the Ferrari," Dudenhoeffer said.

He warned however that the feminine effect was ephemeral, and would last only as long as the government continued to subsidise auto purchases, with the record set this year likely to be only a flash in the pan.

The percentage would decline again and Germany would probably not see that level reached again before 2020 at the earliest, the report forecast.


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