2009 sales of light vehicles (cars and light trucks) in the United States came in at the bottom end of the estimates. Americans bought only 10.4m units, the lowest level in 27 years, Reuters reports.
America actually lost some 4 million cars. The United States scrapped 14m autos while buying only slightly over 10m last year. Cars on the road dropped to 246m from a record high of 250m in 2008, says a report to be released on Wednesday by the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), cited by Reuters.
Lester Brown, the president of the EPI, fetes this blip as the United States entering “a new era, evolving from a car-dominated transport system to one that is much more diversified.”
Not so fast. The U.S.A. still has some 800 cars per thousand pop, vastly more than the rest of the world. Car density in Western Europe hovers in the 500s. There are approximately 50m more cars than licensed drivers in the U.S.
The quickly aborted cash for clunkers program removed only 700,000 vehicles from American roads. By government decree, they were immediately replaced with new ones.