A French government scheme to encourage drivers to buy new cars might be extended beyond December, when it is due to expire, Budget Minister Eric Woerth said on Tuesday.

We are discussing it, but it will probably be prolonged. It has been hugely successful, Woerth said.

France, like most European countries, gave the struggling car industry a major boost by offering incentives to trade in old cars for less polluting models.

The government is looking to avoid an abrupt end to the scheme, fearing this would provoke a new crisis in the industry, and has previously indicated it would gradually rein in incentives.

The minister in charge of implementing the government's economic stimulus package, Patrick Devedjian, said last week that the old-for-new car scheme had generated the sale of 330,000 vehicles.

He said he wanted the scheme to have a soft landing.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Dan Lalor)