FRANKFURT-AM-MAIN, Aug 9 — Carmaker Volkswagen and its subsidiaries said yesterday they would offer cash incentives to trade in old diesel cars, as Germany struggles to reduce harmful emissions following a cheating scandal.
The VW brand said it would offer buyers trading in an old diesel a discount on cars meeting the latest Euro 6 emissions standard, ranging from €2,000 (RM10,000) on its up! compact cars to €10,000 for a Touareg SUV.
And the carmaker proposed an additional discount of between €1,000 and €2,380 for those buying more environmentally friendly hybrid, all-electric or natural-gas-powered vehicles.
The VW statement said it was "acknowledging its share of responsibility for climate- and health-friendly mobility on German streets."
The cash offers will be valid until the end of 2017, a VW spokesman told AFP, adding that the company is considering extending them beyond Germany to cover all of Europe.
The proposed incentives come after a government-industry summit last week on tackling the high levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted from diesel cars.
Following the summit, VW, BMW, Daimler and Opel vowed to reduce emissions with free-of-charge software updates for newer vehicles and cash-for-clunkers schemes for older cars.
The VW group's Audi, Skoda, Seat and commercial vehicle subsidiaries all presented their own versions of the scheme yesterday, with luxury automaker Audi also offering discounts of up to €10,000.
Fellow VW subsidiary Porsche announced rebates of up to €5,000, but specified that they would apply to all of Europe immediately.
Rival carmaker Daimler for its part said it would offer a discount of €2,000 to buyers swapping their older diesels for a new, lower-emissions Mercedes-Benz by the end of the year, adding that its deal was Europe-wide as well.
Buyers of a Smart electric car will get a rebate of €1,000, a Daimler spokesman told AFP.
BMW already announced last week that it would offer a trade-in bonus of up to €2,000 for buyers purchasing a new, lower-emissions BMW or Mini.
Car companies have been in the spotlight over high levels of harmful NOx emissions since Volkswagen admitted to cheating regulatory emissions tests on 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide in 2015.
Since then, suspicion has spread to other groups in Germany's vaunted carmaking sector, long favoured by politicians anxious to protect jobs and nurture economic growth.
Media reports that carmakers secretly colluded on technical specifications — including exhaust treatment technology at the heart of the diesel scandal — have further blackened the industry's name.
And it is scrambling to catch up to new competitors like US-based Tesla M