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 |  Aug 26 2009, 1:37 PM

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With the Cash-for-Clunkers program officially ending last night, the U.S. Department of Transportation has now released its top 10 list of the most purchased vehicles under the program, with the most popular car purchased being the Toyota Corolla.

Toyotas actually took three of the top 10 spots, with the Camry placing third and the new Prius ranking seventh. Honda did equally well, taking three of the top 10 spots, with the Civic coming in second, the Accord 8th and the Fit 9th.

Nissan and Hyundai each had one spot on the list with the Versa in 6th and the Elantra in 5th. Ford was the only U.S. automaker to break into the top 10, with the front-wheel drive Focus in 4th and the FWD Escape in 10th.

The “Top 10″ list doesn’t tell the whole story, however. While no General Motors products are listed in the top 10, collectively, GM products accounted for 17.6% of the total of new cars purchased under the program, second only to Toyota with 19.4%.

In total, the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) generated 690,114 transactions worth a total of $2.8 billion.

“American consumers and workers were the clear winners thanks to the cash for clunkers program,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Manufacturing plants have added shifts and recalled workers. Moribund showrooms were brought back to life and consumers bought fuel efficient cars that will save them money and improve the environment. This is one of the best economic news stories we’ve seen and I’m proud we were able to give consumers a helping hand.”

In total, 84 percent of consumers traded in trucks, while 59 percent purchased cars. The average fuel economy of a car traded in was 15.8 mpg, whereas the average fuel economy of a car purchased was 24.9 mpg – an improvement of 9.2 mpg or 58 percent.

Report: Cash for Clunkers Program Results in 690,114 Deals Worth $2.88 Billion

GM, Ford and Honda all scheduled to increase production to bolster depleted inventories

 |  Aug 26 2009, 12:56 PM

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The Cash for Clunkers program has come to an end and its impact can now be evaluated.

According to U.S. Department of Transportation, dealers submitted 690,114 transactions under the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), more commonly known as Cash-for-Clunkers. Those rebate applications account for $2.877 billion out of the $3 billion approved by Congress.

That number may rise considerably, however, as rejected filings are resubmitted. The DOT has said that filings approved after last nights deadline will be reimbursed. The DOT reported several issues with its servers approaching the deadline, which may account the fact that only $229 million in claims were filed during the last 36 hours of the program, while over the previous weekend $611 million in claims were filed.

A preliminary analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers says the CARS program boosted economic growth in the third quarter of 2009 by 0.3-0.4 percent, will help sustain an increased fourth quarter GDP and create or save 42,000 jobs in the second half of 2009.

“American consumers and workers were the clear winners thanks to the cash for clunkers program,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Manufacturing plants have added shifts and recalled workers. Moribund showrooms were brought back to life and consumers bought fuel efficient cars that will save them money and improve the environment.”

Ford and General Motors recently announced production increases for the second half of the year due to the demand generated by the CARS program. Honda also said it will increase production at its plants in East Liberty and Marysville, Ohio, and in Lincoln, Ala.

“This is one of the best economic news stories we’ve seen and I’m proud we were able to give consumers a helping hand,” said LaHood.

[Source: DOT and Automotive News]

 |  Aug 21 2009, 12:41 PM

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Car owners hoping to take advantage of the “cash for clunkers” incentive program will have to do it by this Monday (Aug. 21) at 8 p.m., as the Obama Administration shuts down the popular program.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), offering incentives for trade-ins, should have enough funding to support one more weekend of sales. Earlier this month, the U.S. government pumped $2 billion into the program on top of the original $1 billion in funding. At the time, LaHood estimated the total $3 billion in funding would last until Labor Day. Looks like LaHood was off by a couple of weeks.

LaHood said there are no plans to expand the program again, but some representatives, including Democrat Sander Levin or Royal Oak, Mich.,  say Congress should add another $1 billion into the program.

[Source: The Detroit News]

 |  Aug 19 2009, 5:17 PM

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The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has asked the U.S. government to suspend the Cash-for-Clunkers program immediately as it believes the $3 billion in earmarked funds have already been used up.

NADA Chairman John McEleney told Automotive News that based on a survey of its dealers it believes the $3 billion in funding could be used up as of today. But according to the Transportation Department, only 411,624 claims have been filed, accounting for a total of $1,72 billion. The difference says McEleny is due to rejected claims that have yet to be re-submittted.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, has said that the $3 billion should last until Labor day, but NADA’s track record is also pretty good, as the group was the one to raise the alarm that the initial $1 billion in funding, intended to run for several months had dried up in just two weeks.

Earlier in the week LaHood said that the Transportation Department is readying a plan to wind-down the Cash-for-Clunkers program, commenting that even if the fund dries up, the dealers will still be reimbursed.

[Source: Automotive News]