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Cash for Clunkers: Good for the Economy, Better for the Environment

President Barack Obama-"Not more than a few weeks ago, there were skeptics who weren't sure that this "Cash for Clunkers" program would work. But I'm happy to report that it has succeeded well beyond our expectations and all expectations."

House Select Committee on Global Warming Chairman Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA)--"This program has proven to be the ultimate triple play: It is good for the economy, good for energy independence and great for consumers."

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) –"Some would call this letting the markets work! Consumers have spoken - with their wallets - and they're saying that they like this program. And clearly, it's doing what it was intended to do – to spur car sales in this sluggish economy."

Congressman John Campbell (R-CA) "It is the one thing that we have done here in this Congress that is absolutely working. It is creating jobs, and we want it to do more."

Automakers and automobile dealers have seen a significant increase in vehicle sales and dealership foot traffic since the launch of the CARS or "Cash for Clunkers" program. This increase in vehicle sales is generating important tax revenue for communities where in some cases roughly one-quarter of sales tax revenue is dependent on receipts from auto sales. And while the program has provided much need economic stimulus to the auto industry, it has also yielded significant energy security and environmental benefits.

Amongst Alliance members Ford reports a 9 MPG increase from trade-in vehicle to new vehicle purchase; GM reports a 54 percent increase in small car sales since the CARS program was launched; 57 percent of Mazdas sold so far under the program were highly fuel-efficient Mazda 3's; 78 percent of Toyota's CARS sales volume consists of the following vehicles -- Corolla, Prius, Camry, RAV 4 and Tacoma, which average a combined 30 MPG; and Volkswagen reports over 60 percent of its CARS sales are clean diesel Jetta TDI's which get an EPA combined 34 MPGs.

Assuming that half of the vehicles sold using the CARS program qualify for the 4 MPG-$3500 credit and the other half qualify for the 10 MPG-$4500 credit, CARS would provide an annual fuel savings of 45 million gallons of gasoline or an average gasoline savings of $450 a year for each new vehicle owner.

That equates to an approximate 500,000 ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions greatly enhancing energy security and reducing greenhouse gases.

We strongly urge the Senate to approve $2 billion in additional funding for the CARS program so that American consumers can continue to take advantage of these benefits.


The Alliance is a trade association of eleven car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.

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Discussion Starter #2
3 key senators switch positions

3 key senators switch positions, now support $2B more for clunker program

August 3, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Three key senators who had sought changes in the popular cash-for-clunkers program said today they now supported spending $2 billion more on the plan, citing the gains in fuel economy driven by the trades.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Susan Collins, R-Maine, also said there were likely 60 votes to approve the extra money, but that Senate leaders had not yet agreed on how or when the bill could come to the floor for a vote.

The three had said last week that they would not support boosting the money for the program unless the Obama administration answered several questions about its effect on the environment. The administration said today that the program had triggered a sizable boost in fuel economy, with new vehicles improving on the mileage of traded-in clunkers by 9.6 m.p.g. on average.

"The best solution is to continue and extend the program," Feinstein said.

"We knew when cash for clunkers passed it would sell more cars, but who knew it would have such a cleansing effect on the environment," added Schumer.

Schumer said that he had been besieged with questions about the program offering $3,500 or $4,500 vouchers for new vehicles to people who turn in clunkers. The senators said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had processed 120,000 deals under the program with an average voucher of $4,237.

At that level, the program's original grant of $950 million would support 224,214 vehicle sales. Despite estimates suggesting the plan may already have run out of money, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the government would continue to honor deals through Friday.

Feinstein said while the program could get 60 votes, it was still being kept from the floor due to "Procedural hurdles from the other side of aisle." Collins said she had been told Republican leaders were open to discussing ways of moving the bill forward.

With the Senate scheduled to debate and vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday, the earliest the bill might come to the floor would likely be Wednesday.

Article Link:3 key senators switch positions, now support $2B more for clunker program | | Detroit Free Press

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‘Clunkers’ program sells Indiana man

‘Clunkers’ program sells Indiana man

Posted Tuesday, Aug 4, 2009, 10:38 am in Employee News

Tom Lefevre, an Indiana writer and musician, answered the call by to share his story about the impact of the “Cash for Clunkers” program and President Obama’s stimulus initiatives. Lefevre fired off this letter to the editors highlighting his purchase of a 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan with help from the “Cash for Clunkers” program:

To: [email protected]
Sent: Tue, Jul 28, 2009 12:28 am
Subject: “Cash for Klunkers” (C.A.R.S.) is for real, man!

A stimulus manifestation that debuted this July in the form of a billion-dollar D.O.T. fund, touched my life in Elkhart, Indiana today (7/27). Described at - Car Allowance Rebate System - Home - Formerly Referred to as “Cash for Clunkers”, this program grants up to $4,500 for trading in an older, lower-mpg car on a new, higher-mpg vehicle.

Already pooh-poohed by Edmunds on CNN (”The Situation Room” 7/27) as merely sweetening sales that would’ve occurred anyway, I’m testifying that a 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan sale was inked on Chrysler’s second day of the program as a direct result. I thank my observant wife who happened to see Chrysler’s cash matching ad on 7/24. In addition to the stimulus’ $3,500 for my ‘95 Jeep with 173,000 miles, Chrysler brought $4,500 to the table—totaling $8,000 or nearly 30% off the MSRP of the new minivan. As my father would have said, “Now you’re talkin’!”

I mention Elkhart, as it was the first city visited by President Obama following his Inauguration—where he presented his plan to stimulate the economy. He had been here twice during the campaign, and Elkhart’s de facto unemployment still exceeds 20% (when counting underemployed and those discouraged into inactivity). Given that truth is stranger than fiction, the irony of having a decent job—working in Elkhart for a Canadian company that was recently acquired by a German conglomerate—is not lost on a former board-certified hospital administrator who was unemployed for eleven boom years from 1995-2005. Lord knows, I’m thankful to have been a part-time church music director through these years (my work can be found at cdbaby) but newer cars were out of the question.

The only way we afforded college tuition for our two children during this time (along with other creative measures), was for me to learn to maintain and service our fleet of four high-mileage used cars. I estimate our inflation-adjusted savings over ten years in avoided car payments at nearly $150,000. The second car I traded in on this new minivan was a ‘90 Plymouth Voyager with 252,000 miles. See my point? Religious oil & filter changes over 19 years kept its 3.3L Chrysler V-6 from burning hardly any oil—even now! Nice work on that engine, Mr. Iacocca!

I confess, the relentless psychological pressure from my wife and kids to scrap the Voyager, I had effectively inured myself against. All its systems are working fine—including the A/C. And the Jeep, following a recent engine overhaul, could have purred through at least another five years, or 100,000 miles. Believe it or not, a greater impediment to this sale than the dreaded reality of a monthly car payment (Good Lord, am I really doing this?), is that my now vast mechanical and service knowledge of these vehicles is about to be rendered moot. But as a strong supporter of our administration, I accept as my patriotic duty that I need: 1) support US car makers and suppliers, 2) support the Elkhart economy, 3) keep peace with my wife and children (family values!), 4) bid sad farewell to diagnosis and repair skills that would have impressed even my late father, and 5) enjoy a very long haul in a spiffy 2009 Dodge minivan with a LIFETIME WARRANTY ON ENGINE AND POWERTRAIN ..! Now you’re talkin’!

Thomas D. LeFevre
Elkhart, Indiana

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Four of Top ‘Clunkers’ Model Purchases Are Foreign

Four of Top ‘Clunkers’ Model Purchases Are Foreign

Aug. 4 Four of the top five models sold so far under the U.S. “cash for clunkers” program, aimed at boosting the auto industry, are made by foreign automakers, according to Transportation Department data.

Ford Motor Co.’s Focus was the top seller, followed by Toyota Motor Corp.’s Corolla, Honda Motor Co.’s Civic and Toyota’s Prius and Camry, data from the department showed today.

Initial clunkers legislation sponsored by Representative Betty Sutton, an Ohio Democrat, would have barred discounts for new vehicles manufactured overseas and offered higher payments for cars and trucks produced in the U.S. than for those made in Canada and Mexico. The “Buy American” provision was dropped from the final legislation because of opposition from foreign automakers and free-trade advocates who said it would conflict with U.S. obligations to the World Trade Organization.

“The share of cars sold to date under this program is actually larger than the traditional market share” for the U.S. automakers, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters today. Providing tax incentives only for U.S. companies “would have caused some legal and trade problems,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said today that the Senate will approve a measure this week adding $2 billion to keep the clunkers program going through this month. The government’s Car Allowance Rebate System provides credits of as much as $4,500 for the purchase of a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle when turning in an older car or truck to be junked.

Reid’s Prediction

“We’ll pass cash for clunkers before we leave here,” Reid told reporters after Senate Democrats had lunch with President Barack Obama, who supports extending the government payments. Reid said there are at least 60 votes in the Senate to pass the measure.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, concurred, telling reporters, “We will get a vote on the proposal sometime before the end of the week.”

A burst of demand exhausted most of the program’s initial $1 billion in less than a week. Lawmakers had expected the $1 billion to generate about 250,000 vehicle sales and last until about Nov. 1.

The House voted 316-109 on July 31 for an emergency measure that would add $2 billion to keep the program in operation.

Vehicles made by the three largest U.S. automakers -- General Motors Co., Ford and Chrysler Group LLC -- were fewer than half of sales under the program through Aug. 1, according to Transportation Department data obtained yesterday. The companies accounted for 47 percent of the clunkers transactions.

Civics From Indiana

The data didn’t break out where the cars sold were manufactured. Some vehicles sold by foreign companies are manufactured in the U.S.

“A lot of these cars are made in America by American workers in plants that are right here in America,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

Honda’s Civic is built in Greensburg, Indiana, and Alliston, Ontario. Those plants make more than 95 percent of the Civics for North America.

Automakers from outside the U.S. dominate the rankings of the most fuel-efficient vehicles, those that are easiest to qualify for discounts under the clunkers program, according to data on the Energy Department’s fuel-economy Web site.

Toyota’s Prius gets the best mileage, with 48 miles per gallon in the city and 45 on the highway, according to the Web site. Foreign automakers hold the top two fuel-efficiency ratings in the site’s categories for mini-compact cars, subcompacts, compacts, midsize models, large cars and station wagons.

Pontiac’s Solstice

Pontiac’s Solstice and Saturn’s Sky, both made by General Motors, are tied for second in the two-seater category, the only other vehicle segment ranked on the site. Daimler AG’s Smart mini-car coupe and convertible share the top spot in that category.

Michigan dealers have reported $34.4 million in clunkers deals, making the state where GM, Ford and Chrysler have their headquarters the top by dollar value so far, according to the Transportation Department data today. California was second with $26.4 million.

Public Citizen, a Washington-based consumer advocacy group, called for the agency to release more information about the cars traded in and purchased under the program.

‘Access to the Details’

“The public should have access to the details of the program so it can assess whether taxpayer money is being spent well and whether the program is truly helping curb auto emissions,” Public Citizen policy analyst Lena Pons said today in a statement. “If the program is as successful as the administration claims, then releasing the information should only strengthen its case.”

As of today, the Transportation Department had received about 157,000 dealer applications for funds totaling $664 million, as the agency works through a backlog that reached hundreds of thousands of online submissions, LaHood told reporters.

Prospects that more funds would be blocked in the Senate faded today, as senators who oppose the program were non- committal when asked whether they would to try to prevent a roll call.

“I don’t know how we are going to block it” because of the “stampede to get out” for the Senate’s monthlong August recess,” Senator Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, told reporters.

The House has begun its August recess, and the Senate is scheduled to do so after this week.

Energy Department Money

The legislation would transfer the money from an Energy Department loan guarantee program in the economic stimulus package approved in February.

LaHood, a former Republican House member from Illinois, said he is prepared to call senators to ask for their votes and predicted approval.

“My confidence is based on this: this is a very popular program that allows people to buy a car,” LaHood said. “I think the last thing any politician wants to do is cut off an opportunity.”

LINK:Four of Top ?Clunkers? Model Purchases Are Foreign (Update3) -

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Discussion Starter #5
10 Most Traded-In/Purchased List

Ten Most Traded-In And Purchased Cash For Clunkers Cars (Updated)

The Ten Most Traded-In Vehicles
1. Ford Explorer 4WD
2. Ford F-150 2WD
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD
6. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
7. Ford Explorer 2WD
8. Ford F-150 Pickup 4WD
9. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
10. Ford Windstar FWD Van

The Ten Most Purchased Vehicles
1. Ford Focus
2. Toyota Corolla
3. Honda Civic
4. Toyota Prius
5. Toyota Camry
6. Ford Escape FWD
7. Hyundai Elantra
8. Dodge Caliber
9. Honda Fit
10. Chevrolet Cobalt

Article Link:Ten Most Traded-In And Purchased Cash For Clunkers Cars (Updated)

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Discussion Starter #6
More Results

Clunkers' results so far
August 5, 2009

All numbers are as of Tuesday morning.

25.4 miles per gallon is the average fuel economy of vehicles purchased under the "cash for clunkers" program.

15.8 mpg is the average for clunkers turned in for demolition.

9.6 mpg is the average increase in fuel economy -- a 38% improvement.

83% of the clunkers traded in are SUVs and trucks.

60% of the new vehicles purchased are cars.

47% of the new vehicles are made by Ford, General Motors or Chrysler.

Top 5 states

(Dollar amount of vouchers issued for new cars)

Michigan: $34.4 million

Ohio: $29.3 million

California: $26.4 million

Minnesota: $26.1 million

Texas: $25.0 million

Bestselling models

(Top cars purchased under the program)

Ford Focus

Toyota Corolla

Honda Civic

Toyota Prius

Toyota Camry

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation

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GM Has Sold the Most Cars Under ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Program

GM Has Sold the Most Cars Under ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Program

Aug. 5-- General Motors Co., the largest U.S. automaker, has the most sales under the “cash-for-clunkers” program, according to Transportation Department data released today.

Detroit-based GM sold 18.7 percent of the cars purchased under the plan. Toyota Motor Corp., based in Toyota City, Japan, had the second-most sales with 17.9 percent and Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Co., was third with 16 percent. The agency released data on the each automakers’ share today, a day after providing a list showing that four of the top five models sold were made by foreign automakers.

Toyota’s Corolla is the top model purchased by “cash-for- clunkers” buyers through today, surpassing Ford’s Focus, which had been number one, according to the data.

The U.S. Senate is considering injecting $2 billion into the program, which exhausted its initial $1 billion in funding. The plan gives consumers rebates up to $4,500 for trading in a car and purchasing a more fuel-efficient model. The program is intended to revive the auto industry.

The top three U.S. automakers had 45 percent of the sales so far, with the Focus being one of four vehicles made by U.S. automakers in the top 10 types sold. Some vehicles from foreign automakers are manufactured in the U.S.

Ford’s Explorer was the most popular trade-in vehicle, followed by Ford’s F150 pickup and Chrysler Group LLC’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. All of the top 10 trade-in models are made by the top three U.S. automakers.

The average fuel economy of the vehicles purchased is 25.3 miles-per-gallon, a 60 percent improvement over the 15.8 miles- per-gallon average of the trade-ins. One of the program’s intents was to improve fuel-efficiency of cars on U.S. roads.

Article Link:GM Has Sold the Most Cars Under ?Cash for Clunkers? Program -
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