Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers: Cash for Clunkers Rules!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers has declared the $1 billion-and-counting Cash for Clunkers (a.k.a. C.A.R.S.) program a success. The org doesn’t want any prospect of limited government (the “where do you draw the line” argument) to derail the four-wheeled gravy train. In fact, the Alliance wants the feds to re-up like a coke addict wants that third line. No surprise there. Still, there’s some interesting new info in their latest press release:

Automakers and automobile dealers have seen a significant increase in vehicle sales and dealership foot traffic since the launch of the CARS or “Cash for Clunkers” program. This increase in vehicle sales is generating important tax revenue for communities where in some cases roughly one-quarter of sales tax revenue is dependent on receipts from auto sales. And while the program has provided much need economic stimulus to the auto industry, it has also yielded significant energy security and environmental benefits.

Amongst Alliance members Ford reports a 9 MPG increase from trade-in vehicle to new vehicle purchase; GM reports a 54 percent increase in small car sales since the CARS program was launched; 57 percent of Mazdas sold so far under the program were highly fuel-efficient Mazda 3’s; 78 percent of Toyota’s CARS sales volume consists of the following vehicles — Corolla, Prius, Camry, RAV 4 and Tacoma, which average a combined 30 MPG; and Volkswagen reports over 60 percent of its CARS sales are clean diesel Jetta TDI’s which get an EPA combined 34 MPGs.


Assuming that half of the vehicles sold using the CARS program qualify for the 4 MPG-$3500 credit and the other half qualify for the 10 MPG-$4500 credit, CARS would provide an annual fuel savings of 45 million gallons of gasoline or an average gasoline savings of $450 a year for each new vehicle owner.

That equates to an approximate 500,000 ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions greatly enhancing energy security and reducing greenhouse gases.

We strongly urge the Senate to approve $2 billion in additional funding for the CARS program so that American consumers can continue to take advantage of these benefits.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Duke Woolworth Weight 4800# as I recall.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X '19 Nissan Frontier @78000 miles has been oil changes ( eng/ diffs/ tranny/ transfer). Still on original brakes and second set of tires.
  • ChristianWimmer I have a 2018 Mercedes A250 with almost 80,000 km on the clock and a vintage ‘89 Mercedes 500SL R129 with almost 300,000 km.The A250 has had zero issues but the yearly servicing costs are typically expensive from this brand - as expected. Basic yearly service costs around 400 Euros whereas a more comprehensive servicing with new brake pads, spark plugs plus TÜV etc. is in the 1000+ Euro region.The 500SL servicing costs were expensive when it was serviced at a Benz dealer, but they won’t touch this classic anymore. I have it serviced by a mechanic from another Benz dealership who also owns an R129 300SL-24 and he’ll do basic maintenance on it for a mere 150 Euros. I only drive the 500SL about 2000 km a year so running costs are low although the fuel costs are insane here. The 500SL has had two previous owners with full service history. It’s been a reliable car according to the records. The roof folding mechanism needs so adjusting and oiling from time to time but that’s normal.
  • Theflyersfan I wonder how many people recalled these after watching EuroCrash. There's someone one street over that has a similar yellow one of these, and you can tell he loves that car. It was just a tough sell - too expensive, way too heavy, zero passenger space, limited cargo bed, but for a chunk of the population, looked awesome. This was always meant to be a one and done car. Hopefully some are still running 20 years from now so we have a "remember when?" moment with them.
  • Lorenzo A friend bought one of these new. Six months later he traded it in for a Chrysler PT Cruiser. He already had a 1998 Corvette, so I thought he just wanted more passenger space. It turned out someone broke into the SSR and stole $1500 of tools, without even breaking the lock. He figured nobody breaks into a PT Cruiser, but he had a custom trunk lock installed.
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