Dealer group deluged with customers after it gives away free electric cars

Time 1 year ago

A dealer group in Germany is giving away Renault Zoes completely free of charge.

Thanks to generous electric car subsidies from the German government, Autohaus Koenig, a dealer group with more than 50 sites, is being allowed to advertise a lease for the all-electric Zoe that’s covered completely by state subsidies.

It effectively makes the car free of charge to new car buyers.


Since the firm made the advert live online, around 3,000 people have inquired about it and about 300 have signed contracts, according to BloombergNEF.

‘If we had more sales staff, we would have sold even more,’ said Wolfgang Huber, head of electric car sales for the dealer in Berlin, on a Facebook post. ‘We did expect an increase in sales with the subsidies, but this run really struck us.’

Autohaus Koenig is now asking customers to be patient.

At a wider level, dealers in Germany and France are being deluged with customer enquiries after government subsidies to get people to switch from petrols and diesels into electric cars are making EV lease deals cheaper than mobile phone contracts.

Renault expects sales of the Zoe to more than double in France this year, partly thanks to the French government giving new car buyers generous subsidies to switch to electric.

Meanwhile, in Amsterdam, a 10 million euros grant to support the take-up of electric cars was used up in just eight days earlier this month.

‘There are a lot of attractive offers right now because of higher subsidies, and that’s boosting demand,’ said Aleksandra O’Donovan, an analyst with BloombergNEF. ‘The EU is pushing toward decarbonising transport, and the coronavirus crisis has allowed them to accelerate that.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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