CARS Program to Launch July 23rd

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Automotive News [sub] reports that finals rules for America’s own scrappage scheme will be released on or around July 23rd. The notice comes with a warning to dealers that they are legally responsible for any trade-ins they structure prior to that date. Violators of the program’s rules could face a $15K fine per illegal transaction. And just to add to the mounting concerns about the effectiveness of scrappage schemes, consider the top-10 beneficiaries of the UK’s scheme, via Autoexpress. Hyundai/Kia is the big winner there, although of the vehicles on that list only the Yaris and Fit are sold in the US. Will US automakers benefit from this attempted subsidy considering their weakness in the budget compact segment? Don’t count on it . . .

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • AuricTech AuricTech on Jun 29, 2009

    Upon checking Suzuki's US auto Web site, I see that they do at least have a CARS link on their home page; following the CARS link brings one to some basic information, including a list of qualifying Suzuki cars, SUVs (if one counts the moribund XL7) and truck (Equator with either I4 or V6). More interesting is Suzuki's 24 June press release from the company's media Web site. Of particular interest is the statement that, "in addition to its fuel-efficient automobiles, Suzuki offers an assortment of motorcycles that meet the criteria under the new legislation, including Suzuki’s new TU250X (82 miles per gallon) and Gladius (58 mpg)." Motorcycles as CARS? Who'd have thunk? ETA: One of the motorcycles mentioned in that press release, the TU250X, has an MSRP of $3,799. Assuming that motorcycle purchases get the same voucher as do auto purchases, that means that the $4,500 voucher would pay for the bike, destination fees, taxes and tags, with possibly a bit left over for accessories. Anyone up for a 249cc motorcycle on the government's dime?

  • Panayoti Panayoti on Jun 29, 2009

    I have a suggestion. Why not have a contest predicting the number of clunkers turned in by November? You guys would keep the count secret until November, at which time the winner would be announced. "Winner" gets to do what Robert whines about all the time, write. Of course there is no pay. How's that for the "winner"? The winner gets the privilege of addressing a topic fit for TTAC. Of course it would have to be written in the style that we are usually accustomed. I feel that this would make for better fodder, rather than speculation on the actual number of clunkers sold. What say you??

  • Scottj Scottj on Jun 30, 2009

    I see this as more of an environmental project than one to benefit US automakers. Sure, it will boost new car sales while it's going on, but the real net effect will be the increased MPG for the million or so cars that are replaced. Of course, that doesn't count the effects on the environment of scrapping 1 million perfectly working cars and building 1 million new ones to replace them. So, in the end, it's really just a program to ease our dependence on foreign oil.

  • Karenc Karenc on Jul 06, 2009

    Most "clunkers' won't qualify for a voucher. If yours doesn't, you can donate car to charity and get a tax deduction instead. go to or call 866.448.3487.