“cash for clunkers” program worked, and then some!

In a case of a government program working precisely as it was supposed to, the “cash for clunkers” program program drew car and truck buyers back to American showrooms last month, making July the best month for auto sales in nearly a year. What’s more, the program worked so well it exhausted the funds it had been allocated, which were expected to last until November 1, 2009, causing the White House to urge the Senate to approve $2 billion in additional funds for the “cash for clunkers” program, so car buyers will not see a delay in getting their rebates.

As the AP report notes, the “cash for clunkers” program has worked so well that some automakers, dealers and government officials have declared an end to the industry slump that nearly claimed the lives of General Motors and Chrysler:

“We certainly expect that we’ve seen the worst of it,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor Co.’s vice president of U.S. sales, whose sales rose 12 percent over July of last year, the second-best in the industry, behind only Suzuki.

“We’re not saying it’s going to be a high bounce back. We think it will be good, solid, steady growth.”

“I think probably this is the greatest one-week energy conservation program that may have come out of Washington or anywhere else,” said George Pipas, Ford’s top sales analyst.

Both automakers and the Obama administration have said the “cash for clunkers” program did everything it was designed to do: replacing vehicles with low fuel efficiency with more efficient vehicles, while at the same time boosting auto sales and helping lead the economy out of recession.


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1 thought on ““cash for clunkers” program worked, and then some!

  1. You can’t claim the program is a success because, we don’t know anything about the actual results. And par for the course, no accountability of the program means the politicians can brag about it without having to prove anything.

    Who are the people taking advantage of the program? Are they rich/middle uppers who are trading in a kid’s car? Now junior will be driving a 99 Buick intead of a 95 as Mom & Pop bought a new luxury car. Anectdotal is not the singular of data – we just don’t know so to claim it’s done anything to help anyone in need is unverifiable. What’s the average income of people participating?

    The environmental impact is…negligible at best. What’s the improvement for trucks/suvs? 1 or 2 mpg? 4 or even 10 mpg for cars, while an improvement, is certainly a very minor increase. Granted, the emissions reduction is helpful. BUT – taking an otherwise productive vehicle that has already been manufactured – and replacing it with a brand new vehicle is a net energy loss. It’s adding more consumption, more waste to the earth, not less.

    Finally – my gut – and logic tells me the majority of these purchases, would have bought a vehicle anyway. In terms of economic stimulus – at best, it’s moving purchases up a few months. Good for now, but like everything else in national politics right now, stealing from tomorrow for today.

    Personally I also find it just plain offensive that the entire vehicles are destroyed. It’s the unintended consequences thing. I get that the politicians wanted to prevent fraud – but this is taking parts out of circulation that could otherwise have been used to maintain other vehicles. Again, stimulating consumption and additional manufacturing is decidedly un-green and anti-environment.

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