Powerful German political, industrial leaders call for car subsidies
The Federation of German Industries (BDI) president Dieter Kempf has called on the government to extend subsidies now being provided for electric vehicles to the combustion engine cars they are gradually replacing, reports Deutsche Welle, citing an opinion piece he wrote in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. "In view of the crisis, it makes sense to introduce a further purchase bonus for at least 12 months in addition to the environmental premium, provided that this premium is part of a cross-sectoral approach," wrote Kempf. He's not the only one who's arguing that Germany should promote the sale of all fuel efficient cars through rebates, as long as tey don't reduce existin incentives for electric mobility. DW reports that his calls are being echoed by the states of Bavaria, Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg, which happen to be where BMW, VW and Daimler have their headquarters. "It is unacceptable that France spends €8 billion on automobile promotion and we spend €9 billion on Lufthansa — but nothing for the heart of our economy. That would be an industrial policy mistake," said Bavarian state Premier Markus Soder to Welt. "It would help climate and economic protection. We're taking older cars off the market and replacing them with the latest models of clean vehicles."