Ford Builds CARS

John Horner
by John Horner

Ford is jumping on the recently-signed Car Allowance Rebate System (a.k.a. Cash for Clunkers) to lure customers into the showroom. Ford’s home page includes a highlighted link to the “ Recycle Your Ride” program. A prospective Ford buyer can enter details about their current vehicle into a drop-down menu system and quickly see if it qualifies for scrappage. They can also discover which Ford models earn the $4500 or $3500 federal voucher against the crusher candidate. So far the Dodge, Chevrolet, Honda and Nissan websites have nothing. Toyota and Volkswagen both offer primitive informational pages, but nothing to match the sophistication of Ford’s effort. You would think the government-owned auto companies would be all over the government-run incentive program. But no. And get this: KBB’s man tells the New York Times that the consumers might be better off without the vouchers . . .

Because the old vehicle will be destroyed, the credit is given instead of the regular trade-in value — not in addition to it — though some dealers might compensate customers for the vehicle’s scrap value.

The rules mean that the owner of a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer, which qualifies because it gets about 16 miles per gallon, would get nearly $2,000 less under the program than by making a normal trade-in. Conversely, a 1992 Honda Civic, which is worth only a few hundred dollars, does not qualify because its gas mileage is too high.

“It has to be worth not very much and it also has to get very poor E.P.A. fuel economy,” said Jack R. Nerad, the executive editorial director and market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “It’s a fairly narrow profile. You’re talking about people who are probably economically challenged to begin with and they have to be able to qualify for a new car purchase in the midst of a deep recession. Those are some difficult parameters.”

And away we go.

John Horner
John Horner

More by John Horner

Join the conversation
2 of 25 comments
  • Armadamaster Armadamaster on Jun 30, 2009

    Interesting, I have not come up with a gas guzzling combination yet (trade-in) that provides a GMQ as an option for replacement at the sum based on their calculator, and even a Superduty and E-series come up. How's that for fuzzy math? Ford loves their Panthers!

  • V65magnafan1 V65magnafan1 on Jun 30, 2009

    Thanks, Ford, but why would I bother? 2000 Crown Vic with 130,000 Mi. This is a hot car for a rebate. It looks fine inside and out--except for some paint gone from the wheel well lips (aggressive Nokia snow tires spew high-velocity gravel and salt). White paint is white paint, so a cheap spray can will fix that problem. Everything works as new and it's paid for. Unlike some of the vehicles described above, Crown Vics seem to be built as high-mileage vehicles. At this rate, I'll be long gone before the CV meets its maker. Yeah, it's a V8. So? If the dollar tanks and crude goes to $200-$500 a barrel or more, we're all totally screwed.

  • IBx1 Everyone in the working class (if you’re not in the obscenely wealthy capital class and you perform work for money you’re working class) should unionize.
  • Jrhurren Legend
  • Ltcmgm78 Imagine the feeling of fulfillment he must have when he looks upon all the improvements to the Corvette over time!
  • ToolGuy "The car is the eye in my head and I have never spared money on it, no less, it is not new and is over 30 years old."• Translation please?(Theories: written by AI; written by an engineer lol)
  • Ltcmgm78 It depends on whether or not the union is a help or a hindrance to the manufacturer and workers. A union isn't needed if the manufacturer takes care of its workers.