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Germany Mounts Car-Sales Comeback Powered by Electric Models

(Bloomberg) — Germany’s car market expanded for the first time this year, as sweeter incentives for battery-powered vehicles led Europe’s biggest auto market out of a deep slump.

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Almost a sixth of cars registered last month were plug-in hybrids or battery-electric models, Germany’s trade group VDA said Friday. Demand for those vehicles more than quadrupled from a year ago, supporting an 8.4% gain in total sales.

Germany boosted subsidies this summer to as much as 9,000 euros ($10,600) for electric vehicles and 6,750 euros for plug-in hybrids to help an industry decimated by the coronavirus pandemic get back on its feet. The nation’s auto sector was already reeling from the effects of trade wars prior to the pandemic, with car production slipping to a 23-year low last year.

Read more: Electric-Car Subsidies Render Renaults Free in Germany

While total sales advanced in September, registrations in the first nine months were still down by about a quarter from the same span a year ago.

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