Toyota Corolla Overtakes Ford Focus for Top Cash-for-Clunkers Purchases

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
toyota corolla overtakes ford focus for top cash for clunkers purchases

The Toyota Corolla has overtaken the Ford Focus as the first choice for American consumers trading their government-approved clunker for a federally subsidized new whip. According to Department of Transportation stats, ToMoCo has now captured three of the top five slots on the Cash for Clunkers (a.k.a. C.A.R.S.) hit list (previous version here) : Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, and Toyota Camry. Or as, the official release puts it, “Four of the top ten selling vehicles are manufactured by the Big Three. Of non-Big Three purchases, preliminary analysis suggests that well over half of these new vehicles were manufactured in the United States.” Did they mention that the “foreign nameplates” are produced in the U.S.? They did not. Nor did they offer a similar analysis of the country of origin for the trade-ins. Guess what percentage of the Cash for Clunkers trade-ins are American brands?

Correct. 100 percent. Here’s the list:

1. Ford Explorer 4WD

2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD

4. Jeep Cherokee 4WD

5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD

6. Ford Explorer 2WD

7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD

8. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD

9. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD

10. Ford Windstar FWD Van

OK, so here’s the money shot: the stats that convinced House Speaker Nany Pelosi that the Cash for Clunkers program was green enough for her valley.

Average Fuel Economy

New vehicles Mileage: 25.3 MPG

Trade-in Mileage: 15.8 MPG.

Overall increase: 9.6 MPG, or a 61% improvement

Cars purchased under the program are, on average, 21% above the average fuel economy of all new cars currently available, and 63% above the average fuel economy of cars that were traded in. This means the program is raising the average fuel economy of the fleet, while getting the dirtiest and most polluting vehicles off the road.

And if that’s not enough reason to justify another $2 billion in federal funding for the Cash for Clunkers program, check out the geographical spread. There isn’t a politician in these here United States whose dealers haven’t benefitted from the program. As well they should; this is their bailout.

ALABAMA: $7,087,000

ALASKA: $1,166,000

ARIZONA: $6,527,500

ARKANSAS: $4,455,000

CALIFORNIA: $39,926,500

COLORADO: $7,758,000

CONNECTICUT: $8,916,000

DELAWARE: $1,562,000

FLORIDA: $26,947,000

GEORGIA: $12,469,500

HAWAII: $963,500

IDAHO: $3,395,000

ILLINOIS: $33,740,000

INDIANA: $18,729,500

IOWA: $12,184,500

KANSAS: $9,729,000

KENTUCKY: $9,178,000

LOUISIANA: $5,400,000

MAINE: $5,450,000

MARYLAND: $11,757,000

MASSACHUSETTS: $13,844,500

MICHIGAN: $44,399,500

MINNESOTA: $30,182,500

MISSISSIPPI: $2,431,500

MISSOURI: $16,101,500

MONTANA: $1,732,500

NEBRASKA: $7,392,000

NEVADA: $2,009,000

NEW HAMPSHIRE: $5,474,500

NEW JERSEY: $13,744,500

NEW MEXICO: $2,366,000

NEW YORK: $32,440,000

NORTH CAROLINA: $18,472,000

NORTH DAKOTA: $3,302,000

OHIO: $37,653,000

OKLAHOMA: $7,532,000

OREGON: $10,229,500

PENNSYLVANIA: $32,994,000

RHODE ISLAND: $2,392,000

SOUTH CAROLINA: $7,164,000

SOUTH DAKOTA: $4,033,500

TENNESSEE: $11,117,000

TEXAS: $35,010,000

UTAH: $5,095,000

VERMONT: $2,376,000

VIRGINIA: $18,376,500

WASHINGTON: $12,351,000

WEST VIRGINIA: $2,769,500

WISCONSIN: $24,042,000

WYOMING: $530,000

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2 of 38 comments
  • Omoikane Omoikane on Aug 07, 2009

    Canucknucklehead, "The Corolla isn’t an import anyway, not under NAFTA rules. Some were built at the soon to be closed NUMMI plant in California but the majority are from Cambridge, Ontario" NUMMI makes more Corollas then Cambridge (if one doesn't include the Matrix under Corolla numbers), 200k versus about 140k. "With the closure of NUMMI, all North American Corollas will come from Canada." Actually, if you'd check last month Toyota numbers, you'd notice about 10% of them came from outside North America. Most likely Takaoka plant in Japan. If NUMMI would close, there is no way Cambridge alone (with a capacity of 200k-220k Corolla/Matrix)be able to satisfy demand. At 12 million SAAR, the NA Corolla/Matrix demand would be over 400k/y. Even if they would move Matrix to Woodstock (80k-100k), they would still need to bring about 100k/year Corollas from Takaoka. "A second shift is being added to the RAV 4 plant in Woodstock to replace NUMMI and the Cambridge plant is having it’s capacity increased." Do you have some link, or is that hear-say? How fast and by how much could Cambridge capacity increase? I wouldn't count on getting more then 220k on a sustainable basis out of Cambridge anytime soon, IMO. Even 220k would be a stretch, but maybe possible based on streamlining by sending Matrix to Woodstock and not having to deal with 3 car models (Corolla, Matrix, Matrix 4WD.

  • Baja Baja on Aug 18, 2009

    I've put 100K miles on my 2005 Matrix and love it. It is actually a Corolla that was redesigned. I do miss the cushy minivan highway-riding vehicle I had previously when taking trips over 500 miles but then I added a great after-market back-supporting cushion system. I was surprised that my Matrix, not having that minivan suspension, barely wears tires, doesn't need realignment, doesn't sock me with expensive bushings and crap and is a breeze to change my own oil. It is fun to drive, takes me to the snow every weekend in winter, allows me to put the seats down flush and camp in it, carry large things from home depot and has pretty good storage. This car is an economic champ.

  • Bullnuke It may be awhile before these show up on US shores. The MV Fremantle Highway has just started demo/reconstruction in Rotterdam after the large fire when transporting its last shipment of electric Porsche products.
  • Fie on Fiasler Big, fast and thirsty does not equal good. True luxury is not cobbled together by the UAW.
  • Inside Looking Out I see it as gladiator races - only one survives in virtual world.
  • Crown They need to put the EcoDiesel back in the Grand Cherokee. I have a 2018 and it has been the most reliable vehicle I ever owned. 69,000 miles and only needed tires, and regular oil and fuel filter changes.
  • El scotto Y'all are overthinking this. Find some young hard-charging DA seeking the TV limelight to lock this kid up. Heck, have John Boehner come up from Cincy to help the young DA get his political career going. Better yet, have the young DA spin this as hard as he or she can; I'm the candidate for Law and Order, I defied our go-easy office and leadership to get this identified criminal locked up. Oh this could be spun more than a hyper active kid's top.Now I'd do some consulting work for Little Kings Original Cream Ale and Skyline Chili.