[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.