Pay no attention to the latest financial news. It’s time to buy a new Mercedes!
This is the message that Europe’s largest economy hopes will catch on among its citizens as Europe slides into recession. Two of Germany’s biggest manufacturers, Daimler AG and BMW are reportedly experiencing their worst slump in sales since 2005. This has prompted Daimler to announce that it will close its Mercedes-Benz factory in Sindelfingen Germany, for five weeks. Hoping to avoid a calamity, the German government has passed a new set of tax breaks for cars which meet specific emissions standards. [social_buttons]
“With this package we’re helping the car industry and its workers and at the same time we’re doing something to protect the climate,” says German Economy Minister Michael Glos. The plan includes two years of tax exemption for Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions standard vehicles and one year of exemption for Euro 4 emissions standard vehicles. (With Euro 1,2 and 3 cars no longer legal to purchase, the German government has effectively subsidized car buying).
German newspapers like Financial Times Deutschland have blasted the tax cuts as a giant step backward for the environment, claiming that they will only benefit those who buy large gas guzzling SUVs. The German Environmental Aid organization issued a statement saying, “this is a giant purchase incentive for climate killers.”
The breaks are part of a much larger German plan to create a sliding scale of tax breaks for cars with lower CO2 emissions by 2011.
Image Credit: Maaz Ghani via Flickr, under Creative Commons License.