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Volkswagen offers rebates in Germany to trade in dirty diesel cars

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Volkswagen AG is offering as much as 10,000 euros (S$16,068.3) to drivers in Germany willing to trade in older diesel cars for a newer auto, intensifying a push to get aging vehicles off the road amid intensifying crackdowns on emissions.

[FRANKFURT] Volkswagen AG is offering as much as 10,000 euros (S$16,068.3) to drivers in Germany willing to trade in older diesel cars for a newer auto, intensifying a push to get aging vehicles off the road amid intensifying crackdowns on emissions.

The namesake VW brand is offering 2,000 euros to buyers of a new Up! city car and as much as 10,000 euros toward a Touareg sport utility vehicle, the division said Tuesday in a statement.

The incentive applies to trade-ins of models from any manufacturer. Rebates at Volkswagen's upscale Audi nameplate range from 3,000 euros to 10,000 euros, and the Porsche sports car marque is providing a 5,000-euro reduction Europewide on four-door models like the Cayenne SUV or Panamera coupe.

The incentives are among pledges that Volkswagen and other German automakers made at a meeting last week with political leaders aimed at preventing large-scale limitations to a technology plagued by emissions-test scandals and air-quality concerns.

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The manufacturers agreed to update pollution-control software on as many as 5.3 million diesel cars, a project estimated to cost 500 million euros industrywide, and to take trade-ins of older models that can't be upgraded.

VW's sales chief Juergen Stackmann declined during a conference call on Tuesday to specify how much the incentives will cost, beyond saying they'll involve a "substantial million-euro amount".

Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz brand has yet to announce terms for trade-ins. BMW AG is offering as much as 2,000 euros if buyers switch from an older diesel car to an electric vehicle.

Demand for cars with diesel engines is declining in several European markets as regulators step up scrutiny of emissions rules to improve air quality.

Environmental advocacy group Deutsche Umwelthilfe, a fierce critic of diesel cars, won a court case last month seeking broad bans on the models in Stuttgart, the hometown of Daimler and Porsche.

VW Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller confirmed last week the manufacturer is arranging software fixes for as many as 4 million diesel cars in Germany across all of the group's nameplates, including about 2.5 million VW-brand cars that were part of a mandatory recall.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported earlier Tuesday Porsche is looking at whether to stop offering diesel versions of its cars starting with the next generation of the Cayenne SUV, which it will unveil later this month. A decision hasn't been made yet, a Porsche spokesman said by phone.

The trade-in terms are valid through the end of the year for models meeting Euro 1 to Euro 4 emission standards, which have now been supplanted by Euro 6 regulations.

The group's commercial-van division is also offering as much as 10,000 euros for buying its Multivan model, while the Czech unit Skoda is providing as much as 5,000 euros.

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