Slumping demand in Germany:

BMW, Mercedes Step Up Used Cars Push to Combat Slump

By Dorothee Tschampa

June 1 (Bloomberg) — With fewer and fewer Germans buying new cars, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), Daimler AG (DAI) and Volkswagen AG (VOW3) are trying the next-best thing: pushing second-hand models.

Counting on the cachet of their brands, German automakers are stepping up efforts to cash in on the growing used market as new-car demand withers. The push, which includes leasing offers and fast-track loans, helps attract new buyers for models beyond the reach of many consumers, increasing competition for mass-market nameplates.

For used Mercedes-Benz vehicles, “we can make financing decisions in less than 15 minutes and offer very attractive conditions,” said Franz Reiner, head of Daimler’s banking unit. “Used cars offer an entry into the Mercedes-Benz world.”