Manufacturers improve trade-in offers following German diesel court ruling

15 March 2018

15 March 2018

Vehicle manufacturers in Germany are reacting to the uncertainty of customers in view of driving bans in the country’s cities by offering further incentives to trade in older, more pollution diesels.

BMW has announced that from 15 March, customers with a leasing contract on a BMW diesel car will receive a promise that, if during the lease period, any bans are implemented within 100 kilometres of that vehicle, it can be exchanged through a comparable termination agreement for another BMW Group product.

As a result of the decision of the Federal Administrative Court on possible diesel driving bans in cities, the uncertainty among motorists and customers continues to be great. In a statement, the BMW Group said it is convinced that it is possible and desirable to further improve air quality while ensuring people’s mobility – even with diesel vehicles.

Peter van Binsbergen, Head of BMW Sales and Marketing Germany, explains: ′Our diesel vehicles are fit for the future. The diesel engine is one of the most efficient drive systems currently installed in vehicles, and also very clean thanks to the multi-stage exhaust gas purification process. We want to help our customers choose the optimal form of drive for their needs, without being confused by the current discussion.’

In addition, the BMW Group is investing in the Sustainable Mobility for the City fund and is making use of the opportunities offered by digitisation to help cities cope with congestion and reduce emissions from road traffic.

The carmaker is not the first company to produce this offer. Nissan launched a promotion in late 2017 to attract buyers of diesel SUVs. For example, customers can buy a ′city centre guarantee’ for €500 so that they can return the vehicle to the dealer after four years, provided that a driving ban does not apply within a radius of 100 kilometres to their place of residence.

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in Germany has extended its diesel exchange offer to Euro 5 vehicles. The company believes that it now meets the current discussion around possible driving prohibitions for older diesel vehicles with an attractive offer.

FCA will pay up to €8,000 for any vehicle built with Euro 1 to Euro 5 regulations in mind, depending on the model being purchased at the time. The company will offer this to any brand of vehicle.

Manufacturers introduced ′scrappage’ schemes as part of a plan to avoid potential city bans, following a German summit on diesel technology held in August 2017. Alongside these schemes, there was also a plan for domestic manufacturers to recall 5.3 million vehicles for software updates. However, these measures were not enough to impress environmental groups, with the DUH taking the cities of Stuttgart and Dusseldorf through the courts, and winning a case forcing them to implement bans on more polluting models entering their city limits.