Gas Classic: Toyota Camry
Now that gasoline is around $10.00 per gallon (not really), people are dragging all sorts of old small cars out of their grandmother’s back yard. At least here in Alabama, the land that vehicle inspections forgot. The old clunkers that would immediately be crushed in other states happily roam the highways here. This early 1980′s Toyota Camry is one of them.
When the “Cash for Clunkers” program was still just an idea that wasn’t even completely written as legislation, I wrote about it at Zoomilife as being a bad idea. Then it passed and the program became official, so I wrote about how the setup would fail right off the bat. I wrote another tirade about it again here, analyzing the questionable math involved in the voucher program. Then I published a reprint of what Edmunds.com had to say about the program after it immediately ran out of cash.
Hate to say “I told you so,” but…
Congress has approved “emergency funding” for the CARS (their name for Cash for Clunkers) and Obama signed that earlier this month. This funding is another $2 billion bucks. It’s coming from the Department of Energy’s Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program. In other words, President Obama and Congress aren’t so much interested in future renewables as they are in making sure that current clunkers get purchased (at a cost of $20,000 each) and the auto industry gets plenty of cash injections.
A new study by R.L. Polk & Co. finds that more Americans scrapped their old vehicles than bought new ones, even during the height of the "Cash for Clunkers" program. The study took place over a 15-month period ending last September. During that time, a total of 14.8 million vehicles were scrapped in the U.S., while just 13.6 million new registrations were issued. The report said that U.S. scrap rates had risen to 6.9 percent of the country's total vehicle fleet in October of 2009, compared to 4.3 percent in July of 2005.
"Cash for Clunkers" wasn't good stimulus
Gayer and Parker find that Americans traded in nearly 700,000 old cars ("clunkers") through the program between July 1 and Aug. 24, 2009. Vehicle sales did rise during that period. But a detailed study suggests that consumers just bought some cars slightly earlier than they otherwise would have. Cumulative purchases over the year were basically unchanged