China’s old-for-new car scheme has gathered pace after the government raised the amount of subsidies at the beginning of this year. The Ministry of Commerce said that in the first eight months, 210,000 automobiles were sold under the program, up 690% from last year. In January, China raised the original subsidy levels – which ranged from RMB3,000 to RMB6,000 – to the current band of RMB5,000 to RMB18,000. The move proved effective as it boosted consumer spending on new cars to RMB25.3 billion by granting subsidies of RMB2.95 billion from January to August. According to CRIEnglish.com, the scheme was rolled out last June as part of government’s efforts to stimulate domestic consumption amid a global downturn and to eliminate energy-wasting vehicles. Luo Lei, deputy secretary general of the China Automobile Dealers Association, said China still needs subsidy programs.