Of course… “Cash for Clunkers” is a boon for foreign automobile manufacturers.
4 of the top 5 “cash for clunkers” cars purchased are foreign models.
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.
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More… Dealers are also having major problems with the online system.
The US Senate will expand this wasteful program later this week.
UPDATE: The LA Times has the initial results from the clunker program:
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
(Top cars purchased under the program)