Mike Stevens | Mar 4, 2009

Germany has proved to be largely immune to the falling automotive sales epidemic that's presently sweeping the world, recording its best February sales figure for ten years.

Sales of new vehicles rose 22 percent over 2008's results, thanks to a €2500 (AUD $4900) cash incentive designed to encourage vehicle owners to scrap their old car and buy a new one.

The February result sees the first rise in sales in six months, however the incentive is not just for those buying German-built cars. Sales of imported cars rose 48 percent to 105,100 units, while the German built marques were only boosted by 9 percent for a total of 172,700.

Analysts are already predicting that sales for the first quarter of 2009 will exceed those of the previous year. Matthias Wissmann, president of the car federation VDA which released the figures, provided an optimistic forecast for short-term sales:

"This is the strongest level of February sales in 10 years. We expect that, in the first quarter as a whole, domestic sales will be above the previous year's level."

However, despite the good news for the domestic market, German manufacturers are still feeling the effects of the global ecomonic downturn, with vehicle exports down by 51 percent. You can't win 'em all, it seems.

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