ECB slams scrap plan as sales jump

THE car scrappage scheme that allows drivers to trade in bangers in exchange for a discount on a newer model was slammed by the ECB yesterday. <br /><br />Europe&rsquo;s central bank said the benefits from the scheme had been limited and that its withdrawal could hurt the economy next year. <br /><br />But its comments came as the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) released figures showing that new car sales for September around Europe had surged by 6.3 per cent year-on-year to 1.39m.<br /><br />The ACEA said that demand had picked up in Germany, France, Spain and in the UK. <br /><br />The data showed a 6.6 per cent decline in sales for the first three quarters, however.<br /><br />Eleven of Europe&rsquo;s member states have introduced a scrappage incentive in a bid to encourage drivers to spend in the slump, but the funding for many will run out soon.<br /><br />The Western European car market rose 9.6 per cent last month, the biggest jump since 1999, ACEA said. But September registrations are at their lowest levels since before 2002. <br /><br />The German market posted the biggest gain, up 21 per cent for September, while Spain posted an 18 per cent increase as its incentive scheme nears its end.