By on August 4, 2016

Used cars

There’s been a slow, yet steady change in the automotive marketplace over the last eight years, and you, the consumer, have been the lobster sitting in the pot as the change has occurred. The market has gotten significantly worse for car buyers. The number of franchise and independent dealers has been reduced by almost half. And yet, those surviving dealers have had an unprecedented run of year-over-year growth since 2008.

But as that growth has slowed in 2016, car buyers find themselves paying more money for used cars than ever before. We know that the typical American household can’t afford the typical new car sold in America, but we may soon be approaching a day when that same household can’t afford the typical used car, either. In fact, according to NADA Data, the average used car transaction price in 2016 will crest $20,000 for the first time in history, and will be 59.1 percent of the average new car transaction price of $33,903.

What does all of this mean to you? That buying used may not be the smartest financial choice you can make. In fact, it might not be very smart at all.

(Read More…)

By on December 31, 2015


Man, people are really pumped about the cool, expensive cars they just bought.

That nugget of wisdom, Russia’s perpetual Cash for Clunkers program, VW’s appeal to Colorado and Washington buyers and GM’s knows what way the wind is blowing now … after the break! (Read More…)

By on September 25, 2015

"Vehicles are piled on top of each other in rows as they wait to be pulverized and shredded for recycling at Rifkin Scrap Iron and Metal Co. on North Niagara in Saginaw , Mich. on Friday, July 31, 2009.  Far more drivers signed up for the "cash for clunkers" program than anyone thought, overwhelming showrooms, blowing through the initial $1 billion set aside by Congress and leaving dealers panicked over when or if the government would make good on the hefty rebates." (AP Photo/The Saginaw News, Chris Fryer)

Justin Hyde at Yahoo Autos has fine, fine reporting that U.S. taxpayers paid more than $20 million in incentives for Volkswagen diesel models under the “Cash for Clunkers” program.

According to the report, 4,599 VW Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen diesel cars qualified for the maximum $4,500 incentive under the program. Those cars were equipped with a 2-liter turbocharged diesel engine that the Environmental Protection Agency said used an illegal defeat device to cheat emissions.

The Yahoo report follows a report by the L.A. Times that shows that more than $51 million was paid to Volkswagen by the U.S. for now-bogus “green” claims. (Read More…)

By on August 29, 2014

Lada Coupe

A few days ago, we reported the Russian government was considering bringing back its cash for clunkers program to help spur domestic auto sales in the face of Western sanctions. The government as since decided to go forward with the scheme.

(Read More…)

By on August 26, 2014

In an effort to combat plunging auto sales, the Russian government is deliberating on a decision to bring back its cash for clunkers program, last seen sending Ladas, Volgas and GAZs to the crusher back in 2010.

(Read More…)

By on June 25, 2013

sanders_s640x427 Picture courtesy of

So, how would you all like a nice, juicy chunk of political red meat to chew on a lovely Tuesday morning? For those of you who aren’t interested, it’s all below the jump. For the rest of you, 350 comments or bust! Let’s do this…

(Read More…)

By on May 30, 2012

The fact (if you can call it that) that China’s government will bring back a Cash-for-clunkers program caused headlines around the world. It also spurred news writers to new peaks of creativity. At the same time, Chinese farmers could protect GM’s honor. Let’s investigate. (Read More…)

By on January 6, 2011

Letter to the editor of the New Times by Robert Pankhurst:

“On my drive home yesterday, an advertisement over my car radio told me how much the Cancer Society needed old cars donated to help them fight cancer. Then I remembered watching the Youtube video where cars were turned in for the government program called “Cash for Clunkers.” (Read More…)

By on August 26, 2010

Edmunds is tracking an $1,800 average increase in the price of used cars, as new-car sales have faltered with the shaky economy. But the increase in prices isn’t solely due to Americans tightening their belts and buying used instead of new. The biggest price increases by nameplate appear to be for large SUVs and vans like the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Suburban, Dodge Grand Caravan, BMW X5 and Acura MDX. Edmunds senior analyst Joe Spina explains

So many economic factors affect automobile sales and prices. It’s believed that the program delayed purchases prior to the program and also pulled sales forward while in place. The program also eliminated inventory of older vehicles that were traded and then scrapped… Now, those who need trucks and large SUVs are buying them and in many cases are turning to used vehicles as a way to save money. Prices are high because this demand comes at a time when inventory is low as a result of the current shortage of lease returns and trade-ins for vehicles of this type.

Edmunds’ “Large SUV” segment shows prices up by nearly $7k per vehicle (over July 2009), compared to increases of less than $500 per vehicle for midsize and compact cars over the same period. Gas prices, meanwhile, are nearly unchanged from July of last year. Clearly something is affecting the price of used SUVs… if it’s not Cash-For-Clunkers, what is it?

By on June 21, 2010

I’m afraid our friends over at Gasgoo need a little parental oversight. Or the good folks at China’s premiere auto business site shouldn’t been drinking while posting. Today, they report that the Chinese government invested 5 billion yuan ($736m) in the “cash for clunkers” program last year. As of May 31, only 1.7 billion yuan ($250m) were handed out, with 3.3 billon yuan ($486m) left. No surprise to us. We never thought much of the program. In January, we said: “Due to the relatively young fleet in China, the impact of the cash for clunkers program on sales is expected to be small.” So far so good.

Now for a huge leap of logic:

“Therefore, the country’s automobile consumption in the next seven months will certainly be doubled,” say our friends at Gasgoo.

Shenme? (Say what????) (Read More…)

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