German Car Sales Jump 21 Percent

BERLIN (AP) -- Car sales in Germany showed another year-on-year rise in September, even as the government's popular auto-scrapping bonus program expired, an industry group said Friday.

Some 316,000 cars were registered in Germany last month, a 21 percent rise over September 2008, the VDA group said. That was well below the year-on-year rises of around 40 percent seen earlier in the year, but still healthy.

In total, some 3 million new cars have been registered in Germany so far this year, a rise of 26 percent over the same period last year, the VDA said.

The group said orders from inside Germany so far have fallen less than expected. German manufacturers' order volume stood at 471,200 cars in September -- up 31 percent on the year.

That guarantees high numbers of new car registrations until the end of the year, it said in a statement.

Exports were down 11 percent in September, the VDA said, but that was better than the dramatic declines seen earlier this year.

"It is still to early to proclaim the end of the crisis, but a noticeable stabilization on foreign markets is becoming apparent," VDA president Matthias Wissmann said.

Germany is home to car makers such as Daimler AG, Porsche SE, Volkswagen AG and BMW AG.

The government's euro5 billion ($7.3 billion) incentive program for new car buyers willing to scrap their old autos expired on Sept. 2, having given a strong boost to sales for much of this year.

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