After 100,000 kilometers on the clock was over. His owner in Germany did not want the Honda Civic anymore. That's why he now stands in the Polish city of Krakow, between a trombone stop and the Hotel Sympozjum & Spa. This is where his new life begins.
The man who brought the Honda is called Tomasz Wójcikiewicz and looks like the car dealer imagines: Under the T-shirt is a belly off and the wrist glitters a gold chain. Wójcikiewicz owns the used car trade Autoohit. Every day he receives offers from German dealers perWhatsapp. When something interesting comes along, he sends a colleague. "He climbs into the sled, drives over, looks at the car, makes a detailed description of the car and reports." Wójcikiewicz hired two employees to live near the German border.
Every week, the car dealer sends a van, which collects all the vehicles: six cars per trip, a "package". If you drive on the motorway from Germany to Poland on Saturdays on Saturdays, the extent of the trade becomes clear: Trucks drive for trucks, fully packed with German used cars Poland, and some even further, in the Ukraine or Baltic direction. The export of old German diesel cars to the East has risen sharply since the emissions scandal.
Tomasz Wójcikiewicz imports used diesel cars from Germany. © Sophie Rebmann
Most of the cars on Wójcikiewicz 'Square come from Germany. 70 percent of the vehicles are from three brand dealers in East Germany, he estimates. A good deal for the Pole, because most of the cars were purchased from this dealer and regularly inspected. He wants 39,900 zlotys for the six-year-old Honda, about 10,000 euros.
ForMagda Kozłowska, the cars are not a good deal, but another cause for concern. The young woman in purple butterfly shape fights with nine other clean air activists for seven years. PolskiAlarm Smogowy, "Polish smog alert", they call themselves.
Magda Kozłowska is committed to clean air. © Sophie Rebmann
Kozłowskabe observes that more and more cars are driving on Polish roads. "And you can see that these are not new cars," she says. More than one million imported second-hand cars were registered in Poland in 2018, 220,000 more than three years ago. This has been determined by the research institute of the Polish motor vehicle market Samar. On average, the cars were almost twelve years old. The Honda is at the age of six comparatively young, but he has only Euro 5 standard and emits more pollutants than EU standards for new models allow. Pollutants affect the skin, lungs and blood of people, says Kozłowska. Because of this, the cars are increasingly being banned from German cities - and landing abroad, mostly east of Germany. The activist is annoyed: "Why do these cars end up with us when their former owners did not want them? Why is the trash can?" She asks.
After the exhaust emissions scandal in 2015, some German cities imposed driving bans on old diesel. The auto industry knows how to use that for itself and attracts with discounts: Who drives an old diesel, which emits a lot of pollutants, can exchange it and pays for a new a few thousand euros less. "Environmental bonus" is the name of the BMW, "environmental bonus" it says at Ford. Scrapped but only a "small proportion of vehicles," said a spokesman for Daimler. After all, "in the vast majority of cases, this is not only meaningful for economic, but in particular for ecological reasons". A large part will be re-marketed, write Daimler and BMW on request. The Germans export their problem abroad.