Scrappage incentive programs in Western Europe have led to 500,000 additional passenger vehicles sold in the region from January through May 2009, according to recent analysis by R. L. Polk & Co.

While year-over-year registrations in Western Europe fell 12.6 per cent (800,000 vehicles), the loss was mitigated by the effect of scrappage programs, which have been implemented in Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Without the scrappage incentives, Western European passenger vehicle demand would have fallen by more than 20 per cent, or 1.3 million units, in the first five months of 2009.

European scrappage programs will continue to boost new vehicle sales throughout the remainder of the year.