Opel, Fiat and Nissan become the latest brands to introduce trade-in bonuses in Germany

14 August 2017

14 August 2017

Opel, Fiat and Nissan are the latest OEMs to introduce trade-in bonuses for older diesel cars in Germany, following similar initiatives by players such as BMW and Volkswagen. Opel is not extending the rebates to electric vehicles, whereas Nissan is and Fiat will also offer the incentives to customers who trade in older petrol cars as part payment for a new car.

Opel, recently acquired by the PSA Group, is offering incentives ranging from €1750 for their entry-level Karl city car to €7000 for the brand’s flagship Insignia model when a diesel car which complies with the Euro-1 to Euro-4 emissions standards is traded in. For the brand’s core offerings in the B and C segments, the Corsa and the Astra, incentives of €3500 and €5000 respectively are available and the latest SUV models are also eligible, with the Crossland X and Grandland X offered with bonuses of €4000 and €5000 respectively, even though the latter will only be launched at the IAA motor show in Frankfurt in September. Intriguingly, buyers of the smaller Mokka X crossover model are entitled to an attractive rebate of €5500.

Opel’s Germany’s chief JÜrgen Keller commented: ′We are aware of our responsibility and are making our contribution to climate protection and air quality with the environmental bonus.’ He added: ′Opel is now making it easier to switch to the latest and most efficient models. Opel is also making modern technologies more accessible to those who may not have thought about buying a new car yet.’ However, there is no indication that rebates will be offered for the Cascada, Combo Tour and Vivaro Combi models. Moreover, in a move similar to that made by Ford and Renault and which has attracted criticism, there has been no announcement of a trade-in bonus for Opel’s recently launched electric vehicle (EV), the Ampera-e.

Nissan is now also offering a rebate when an older diesel car is traded in for a new model. The bonus amounts to €2000 but, unlike Opel and Ford, Nissan’s Leaf and e-NV200 EVs are eligible and in conjunction with the incentives offered by the German Government and Nissan’s own ′electric bonus,’ a total discount of €7250 is available until the end of the year.

Finally, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) has also introduced incentives on models across its Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Jeep brands although it does not specifically need to be a diesel that is traded in. The subsidies range from €2000 to €6500 but apply for both petrol and diesel cars which comply with the Euro-4 standard or older. This differs to other OEMs which only offer rebates for older diesel cars and Fiat is even extending the scheme to commercial customers which trade in Euro-5 vehicles to be scrapped. However, Automobilwoche reports that ′according to studies by Ferdinand Dudenhöffer of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Fiat has long been pushing some models into the market with high discounts, which often amount to 30% of the list price.’

The FCA initiative comes as speculation mounts about the company’s future. Following reports of a possible merger of FCA and the Volkswagen Group earlier in the year, Automotive News reports that ′a well-known Chinese automaker made at least one offer this month to buy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles at a small premium over its market value. The offer was rejected for not being enough, a source said. Meanwhile, other sources independently identified executives from other large Chinese automakers conducting their own due diligence on a potential purchase of FCA, including meeting last week with representatives of US retail groups about a potential acquisition.’

Photograph courtesy of Opel