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Germans buying one of every 10 cars sold in Poland

  Germans buyers are snapping up one out of every 10 cars sold in neighboring Poland thanks to currency movements and the Berlin government’s incentives, the Deloitte consultancy said on Thursday.

Some 1.2 million German consumers applied for a €2,500 cash payment for scrapping old cars in favor of more efficient new ones, a number well ahead of budgeted expectations.

The plan to boost the auto industry does not require drivers to buy at home so many Germans have purchased in Poland, encouraged by lower prices after the Polish zloty lost as much as a third of its value against the euro since last summer.

“Because of the zloty’s favorable exchange rate against the euro, buying a car in Poland is more advantageous than buying the same vehicle in Germany,” said Przemyslaw Kromer, manager at Deloitte Advisory in Warsaw. “It’s not clear how long this will last, but judging from the most recent information this could last even to September,” he told Reuters.

New car sales in Poland rose 1.2% in the Q1 to nearly 88,000, according to auto research agency Samar, which pinned the gains on buyers from Germany and Slovakia, which also has adopted the euro and has introduced incentives to encourage new vehicle purchases.

Poles alone bought 6% fewer cars in the first two months of the year than in the same period of 2008 as the European Union’s largest ex-communist economy slows sharply.

Poland is also home to factories churning out cars for Fiat, Ford Motor, General Motors and Volkswagen. (Reuters)