29 May 2020, 13:09
Julian Wettengel

Opposition to new car buyer’s premiums within German government coalition

Süddeutsche Zeitung

There is significant opposition among Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU parliamentarians to the idea of introducing additional buyers’ premiums for car customers as an economic recovery measure for the German auto industry, reports Robert Roßmann in Süddeutsche Zeitung. While support was necessary to overcome the crisis, the car industry has caused “a lot of negative emotions” through its behaviour in past years, he writes. Instead of sector-specific short-term measures, CDU MP Carsten Linnemann is calling for more general tax rebates and reforms, such as reducing the electricity tax and abolishing the Renewable Energy Act (EEG). It is unclear whether it is actually a majority of conservative parliamentarians that opposes car premiums, Roßmann adds.

Carmakers insist on a stimulus package as well as a buyers’ premium that includes combustion engine models to encourage car sales. The German government has repeatedly referred to the special importance of the auto industry for the country’s economy as a whole. It is scheduled to present its coronavirus recovery programme soon. The car industry has advocated a buyers' premium of 3,000 euros for relatively clean diesel and petrol cars and an additional 4,000 euros for plug-in hybrids and electric or hydrogen cars on top of an existing support programme for these low-emission vehicles.

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