Monday, August 24, 2009

Cash for Clunkers Ends Tonight at 8 p.m.!!!

Thanks to Dr. Ed Garten for the photographs, used car lot surveys, and inspiration to write this entry today. On numerous occasions, you have made me a better automobile historian, Ed!

Hi folks -- $3 Billion have been spent on the Cash for Clunkers Program, and while there are many divergent opinions on its merits, my own feelings lean towards the positive. Indeed, of the huge amounts of federal stimulus monies that have been allocated to financial institutions, this relative mere pittance has done more for average people and businesses that need help than anything else. Yet, it is doubtful that an extension of the program or another program like it will be forthcoming. Critic Glen Beck has called it a "scam," but only a few mentally challenged nuts would agree with him. After all, replacement cars average nearly 10 mpg better than the ones now of the road, and sales in July, 2009 are the highest since August of 2008. Confidence in the economy has grown, and now it is projected that the industry will sell about 11 million cars and light trucks compared to previous forecasts of only 9 million. Environmental consequences are undoubtedly positive, but not perhaps overwhelming. High mileage vehicles, often with more than 140,000 miles, are being taken off the road. And those damned SUVs are not with us they way they once were!

The Top Cash for Clunker trade-ins are:

1. 1998 Ford Explorer
2. 1997 Ford Explorer
3. 1996 Ford Explorer
4. 1999 Ford Explorer
5. Jeep Grand Cherokee
6. Jeep Cherokee
7. 1995 Ford Explorer
8. 1994 Ford Explorer
9. 1997 Ford Windstar
10. 1999 Dodge Caravan

I say good riddance to those iron beasts! But note there are no Toyotas, Hondas, or Nissans, on this list. What does this mean in the long term?

The Top Ten Cash New Cars Purchased during the Cash for Clunkers Program:

1. Ford Focus
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Corolla
4. Toyota Prius
5. Ford Escape
6. Toyota Camry
7. Dodge Caliber
8. Hyundai Elantra
9. Honda Fit
10. Chevy Cobalt

4 domestics in the top 10 is not too bad!

Dr Garten actually walked around the approximately 50 or so cars on the back lot at Dave Dennis Chrysler/Jeep located in the Dayton, Ohio area and estimated that the clunkers roughly fell into these groups:

30 percent vans

30 percent SUVs

30 percent trucks

10 percent cars

Of the 50 or so cars and trucks I saw none that were foreign brands.

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