Patterico's Pontifications


Cash-for-Clunkers Sales Numbers

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 11:36 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The numbers are in on car sales for the period covering Cash-for-Clunkers. Congratulations go to the Asian automakers and Ford:

“More than 690,000 vehicles were scrapped in the United States for taxpayer-funded credits of up to $4,500 as consumers took advantage to drop gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs.

The biggest winners in the U.S. sales bonanza were major Asian automakers and Ford Motor Co, which benefited from a stronger lineup of smaller cars and crossover vehicles.”

Ford’s sales were up over 17% from August 2008. Meanwhile, a FoxBusiness TV report says Hyundai’s sales were up 47%, although I can’t find anything online that confirms that report.

Notice who’s missing? The same TV report (also unconfirmed) says GM saw a 20% drop in sales since the same time period last year. In addition, the linked article reports Chrysler’s sales were also down:

“Chrysler, the first major automaker to report U.S. sales, saw a 15 percent fall in August. The company, now under control of Italy’s Fiat, lost potential sales when dealers ran short on some models after it shut down all of its production during a bankruptcy process that ended in June.”

Chrysler attributes the sales decline to low inventories on fuel-efficient models and is boosting its production through the end of the year:

“Going into August, five of Chrysler’s most efficient vehicles were already at low inventory levels. Those vehicles — the Dodge Caliber, the Chrysler Sebring, the Jeep Patriot, the Jeep Compass and the Dodge Avenger — all qualified as Cash for Clunkers purchases.

To make up for the shortfalls, Chrysler is boosting production by 50,000 vehicles of most of its vehicles through the end of the year.

Consumers are expected to steer clear of dealers this autumn now that the clunker rebates are no longer available.”

Classic government: Increase production after the incentive program ends.


48 Responses to “Cash-for-Clunkers Sales Numbers”

  1. I’m glad not to be driving a new welfare mobile what our dirty socialist government paid for. I just don’t roll like that. It’s called self-respect I think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  2. I gotta believe there was a lot of fraud at the dealer level. I’m guessing many “ghost” cars were “scrapped” for the rebate. We’ll never know.

    gp (72be5d)

  3. oh. If that sounds judgey it’s just cause I think letting the government help you buy your car is trashy.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  4. What I’m waiting for is an analysis of what this stupid program did to the used car market.

    You know … where the less affluent find their transportation needs.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  5. gp, I think it came out even because the dealers aren’t getting paid. What’s not to like about government health care?

    Mike K (2cf494)

  6. But don’t worry, they will get this all figured out before taking over our health care.

    Old Coot (83c1d1)

  7. meanwhile, in other news, car loan delinquencies are up

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  8. First, I am still driving my paid off T-Bird.

    Second, government planning is an oxymoron.

    Third, both the new and used car markets are destroyed for quite some time. Any pent up buying demand is now exhausted, and the used car inventory is destroyed because of the rules the Congressional Idiots laid down. Lots of good spare parts won’t be recycled because the vehicles were crushed.

    Fourth, new car dealers are not coming off of sticker prices. They don’t have to deal as inventory is way down, and they are in desperate need of cash as they aren’t being paid the rebates.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  9. Classic government: Increase production after the incentive program ends. Americans are stil waitin’ for that incentive program from the bailed out banks Bush signed off on last autumn.

    The ‘cash for clunkers’ program got people to trade in gas hogs (like the Ford Explorer) and move better fuel efficient autos off the lots. It worked. Communist Red China is there to rescue GM, just like it has propped up capitalist America.

    (AP) General Motors China and state-owned automaker FAW Group Corp. launched a 2 billion yuan ($293 million) joint venture Sunday to make light-duty trucks and vans, initially for the fast-growing Chinese market.

    GM said the joint venture will use two existing factories affiliated with FAW and have a capacity of over 100,000 vehicles. That is expected to double by the end of 2010, GM China Group President Kevin Wale told reporters in a conference call.

    Plans call for building a new assembly plant in Harbin, he said.

    China is a key growth market for GM, which is expanding here despite its difficulties in the U.S. market.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  10. DCSCA, the International Man of Parody continues his ignorance. Obama is running the TARP program today, and controlled more than half of its proceeds. Get a clue.

    Your citation of press releases have nothing to do with the current GM sales – figures you ignore because, as we’ve so often seen, you ignore reality and real facts for irrelevant non sequiturs.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  11. The ‘cash for clunkers’ program got people to trade in gas hogs (like the Ford Explorer) and move better fuel efficient autos off the lots.

    Von Braun, you’re an asshat – try reading for once in your pathetic life rather than regurgitating Pravda – style talking points:

    Only the biased MSM and Greens have the audacity to trumpet the results in a manner that suits their meme. It did not work as advertised in hardly any respects – and the numbers prove it.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  12. DRJ wrote:

    Classic government: Increase production after the incentive program ends.

    Even more classic government: invest a clear pile of money bailing out General Motors, and in getting FIAT to buy out Chrysler, then start a program to give taxpayer dollars to foreign car makers.

    Absolutely fornicating brilliant!

    The sarcastic Dana (3e4784)

  13. I don’t see why people give DCSCA such a hard time. He’s easily some of the best entertainment here.

    G (58c282)

  14. Indeed, G, comedy gold. A reliable laugh.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  15. I know, i mean, it really is non-stop. I mean, Leviticus is sometimes great too, but at least he tries and takes it seriously. Myron is probably right there with DCSCA though.

    G (58c282)

  16. It worked for me!

    Micah Kilton (57a0c1)

  17. If we assume each clunker had a market value of $3,500, that means the government destroyed $2.415 billion in wealth via CFC.

    Diffus (228fe4)

  18. The worst of it is that those clunkers were cars for poor people. When I had an old car that wasn’t worth trading in, I would put a for sale sign in the window and park it near a car wash. It never took longer than a week. Those cars are now crushed. Not even the parts are salvageable. I still remember the days when I was driving on recapped tires and scouring dismantlers for parts. Obama never had that experience, nor did any of his insiders. Champagne socialists all. The French call it “Vote left, Dine right.”

    Mike K (2cf494)

  19. We broke our self-imposed capital spending ban and bought and got a used SUV last week. There are some great deals in the 10-20K range, at least in our market, especially for cash buyers. Trade-in prices were for sh*t, which surprised me, but we quickly sold a low mileage Saab after 3 days running an ad in the local used car publication. I just ran across an incredible price on a Saab SUV that I wish I had seen prior to buying last week. The market for 5-10K used cars is horrible here, and am glad we did not have to look at that price point. Taking 600,000+ cars out of that segment of the market has no other possible result than to put pressure on those prices due to severely decreased supply.

    JD (b82a9e)

  20. “Obama never had that experience” Prompts the idle question: Has BHO ever driven a car?

    gp (ddb675)

  21. Mike K – spot on. Champagne socialists. Destroying useful cars is yet another chapter of Atlas Shrugged come to life. I know someone that traded in a perfectly good minivan, which is now waiting to have its engine block destroyed. Brilliant.

    I’m not sure about the retail used car market, but the wholesale used car market slowed down a whole bunch during this program.

    Why don’t the ‘czars’ just be honest and put together Five Year Plans for these economic sectors?

    carlitos (f94148)

  22. Not only did they design an incentive program to help foreign car makers, not only did Chrysler ramp up production AFTER the incenitve program ended, but one more thing–the incentive program was run while Chrysler’s production plants were shut down so it’s dealers couldn’t get inventory to move.

    Chance can’t give you these results. There must have been some high level planning involved.

    tim maguire (4a98f0)

  23. To make up for the shortfalls, Chrysler is boosting production by 50,000 vehicles of most of its vehicles through the end of the year.

    Fixing the barn door after the horses have broken out. Get ready for “Cash for Clunkers, round 2″ to come right about the time that new car sales take their widely-predicted nosedive and Chrysler is wondering why it has all these lots full of cars that won’t sell.

    JVW (d1215a)

  24. They do realize they get taxed on this as part of there income and they can be put into a different tax bracket.

    charles (eb6028)

  25. I think “Cash for Clunkers” is the perfect motto for the Democrat Party.

    Alta Bob (3dd3fe)

  26. #25: ROTFLMFAO!!!!!

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  27. #25 – Dollar Bill Jefferson?

    rls (e58293)

  28. They should have been able to anticipate this. The big sales with zero interest and the rest a few years ago decimated the subsequent six months sales. People would not buy cars unless they got the incentive. There were articles about this phenomenon in all the financial papers and magazines.

    Of course, this time it’s different. It always is for those who don’t learn.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  29. To whatever degree the program was to help the environment by getting “gas hogs” off of the road, it undid itself by forcing increased energy expenditures to replace vehicles that didn’t need to be replaced, and eliminating many used cars that would be better than older models that are still on the road, and will be for a longer time.

    MD in Philly (9fa3fb)

  30. Screw em. I bought a BMW Z-4 because I am 60 and can. Damn thing disappoints me because it gets over 30mpg on the open road. I feel like I should pull over every 100 miles and drain 2 gallons out of the tank and spill it on the side of the road.

    Sixty and grouchy.

    Huey (b957d9)

  31. You da man, Huey.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  32. Z4s are made in South Carolina. Great little cars if you don’t mind the price. And 30 mpg? That’s nuts. We really have done something amazing. My F-150 gets 20 mpg, which I am astounded by. Free market at play… the EPA didn’t accomplish that.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  33. My Saab 9.3 turbo gets 30+ on a bad day on the highway. After a tune-up and oil change, I have hit 35 mpg. The ML500 got 21 on the highway today, which given the size of that engine, I was pleasantly surprised.

    JD (b78ff7)

  34. Oh yeah, while driving the Z-4 I bet I get more grins from sweet things at 60 years old than a 30 year old driving a Prius does.

    Screw em twice.

    Still 60 and still grouchy.

    Huey (b957d9)

  35. I get 23 to 27 with my T-bird, and that is after I changed the rear gears to 3.55s. I’d get over 30 if I changed to 3.08s or the X code 2.87s. My quarter miles would royally suck though.

    PCD (dfef5f)

  36. Huey kind of rules, doesn’t he? I hope he becomes a regular commenter here.

    JVW (d1215a)

  37. DCSCA:

    My son was driving a 1996 Ford F-150 V-8, a gift from a generous uncle (well actually, he paid for it – $500).

    Anyway, we needed a new car, so we thought we might be able to trade it in as a clunker. To be quite frank, it wasn’t in good shape from a body standpoint, although it’s mechanics were good.

    Couldn’t do it, though. The 12-year-old V-8 didn’t qualify, although a 1996 F-150 V-6 did qualify.

    Do you see a problem here? Probably you don’t.

    GM and Chrysler sales went down during the CASH program. Ford, Honda, Toyota and Nissan saw sales gains. I wonder how that happened?

    If you don’t know, I’ll clue you in.

    Ag80 (fc6fd8)

  38. AG80,

    That was one of the flaws of the program, that it didn’t get the true clunkers off the road. By Clunker I mean the falling apart crapboxes like 12 year old Chevy Cavaliers that are held together with duct tape. Dodge Neons with exhaust pipe dragging on the ground and a collapsed piston in the engine. Those crapboxes are still on the road and shouldn’t be.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  39. Comment by PCD — 9/2/2009 @ 6:45 am

    They also only went by the original MPG rating, not what it was currently getting (which will always be less), or by emissions (Unless you replace that catalytic converter, your 20 year old nissan is going to belch the noxious stuff).

    It’s like they set out to give away the most money while doing the least good.

    Come to think of it, that sounds like most government programs.

    Scott Jacobs (445f98)

  40. 39, Scott, just replaced all THREE catalytic converters on my T-Bird this spring. Went less restrictive and better engineered than what Ford originally put on the car.

    That is another flaw of Cash for Clunkers, there was no initiative to fix/improve cars on the road that would not be traded in on new ones.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  41. “Classic government: Increase production after the incentive program ends.”

    Sad, but true.

    My mini-van was not an eligible “clunker”. If I would have bought the 6 cylinder model in 2000 instead of the 4 cylinder I would have gotten $4500. Leave it to President Obama to make a good decision for the ecosystem into a minor financial disaster me.

    tyree (38bc71)

  42. That’s another good point there tyree. I traded in a 1999 four-cylinder Honda Odyssey, which I bought new, by the way. It didn’t qualify for the clunkers program and bought a new Mazda.

    But here’s the deal. I actually believe in things such as a cleaner environment and saving precious commodities — as well as saving money. That’s why I’ve bought fuel-efficient cars my entire adult life.

    But the cash-for-clunkers program only rewarded people who made poor environmental choices in the past. Those of us who did the right thing were actually penalized for being environmentally conscious.

    On top of that, I also was penalized for keeping a car a long time. But, you know what, it’s environmentally better to keep a car a long time rather than buying new cars every three or four years, especially if they were fuel efficient to begin with and maintained correctly over time.

    I swear to all that is holy that liberals never think beyond the moment. Hence we have global warming hysteria as well as a myriad of other “ills” that are only a “problem” now, but may not be in the long run (such as “health care” for example).

    I’ve being hearing about “global warming” for so long now (more than 20 years) that I’m about ready for us to boil away as vapors so I don’t have to endure that cr– I mean urgent need to save the world — anymore.

    And since no one is paying attention to this thread anymore, how about those Rangers?

    Ag80 (fc6fd8)

  43. 6-4 in the 9th. All they need is 1 more out.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  44. And he walks Ruiz.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  45. Rangers win!

    DRJ (3f5471)

  46. Amazing what pitching will do for a solid offense.

    Ag80 (fc6fd8)

  47. I never get my hopes up about the Rangers. I learned that from the Astros.

    DRJ (3f5471)

  48. Preaching to the choir on that one, DRJ. I grew up in Houston.

    My first baseball game was the Colt .45s.

    Boy am I old.

    Go Oilers.

    Ag80 (fc6fd8)

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