• Aug 26, 2009
Toyota Corolla most bought, Ford Explorer 4WD most traded


After one month, an extra $2 billion in funding and an absolute mess of paperwork, Cash for Clunkers has finally petered out. The final numbers are in and the program resulted in 700,000 sales totaling $2.877 billion in $3,500 and $4,500 vouchers handed out at dealerships across the nation. An additional $100 million was set aside for administration costs, or about $144 for every claim processed, leaving $23 million in the kitty.

In all, 84 ended up with passenger cars. The other 41 improvement in fuel economy for the new vehicles, as the outgoing models averaged 15.8 mpg while the new models averaged 24.9 mpg.

At the onset of C4C, Detroit automakers appeared to be getting a sizable share of turn-ins, but import automakers gained ground on the domestics as the program wore on. Ford, GM and Chrysler combined to take 38.6 chunk.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Toyota Corolla was the most purchased car under the program, followed by the Honda Civic and Toyota Camry. The Ford Focus and Escape were the only domestics to make the top 10, though Edmunds has pointed out that the government vehicle counting process is outdated, messing up the top 10 tally. The Ford Explorer 4WD was the most turned in vehicle under C4C, while the 2WD Explorer finished 4th. Hit the jump to check out the ten most purchased and most turned in vehicles under the Clunkers program.

[Source: Detroit News, Detroit Free Press | Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty ]

Top 10 new vehicles purchased

1. Toyota Corolla

2. Honda Civic

3. Toyota Camry

4. Ford Focus FWD

5. Hyundai Elantra

6. Nissan Versa

7. Toyota Prius

8. Honda Accord

9. Honda Fit

10. Ford Escape FWD

Top 10 trade-in vehicles

1. Ford Explorer 4WD

2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD

4. Ford Explorer 2WD

5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD

6. Jeep Cherokee 4WD

7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD

8. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD

9. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD

10. Ford Windstar FWD Van


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeh its called the RS... check it out, you wont be disapointed

      (disclaimer: if you live in the US you probably should NOT check it out as massive levels of disappointment will follow)
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, 46% (or 62% take your pick) of this subsidy went to foreign companies?

      We didn't even get a kiss on the cheek.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The ratio of domestic vs foreign-owned manufacturer probably reflects the overall car market. Though most of the big sellers were built in the US. Not all of the money goes overseas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I remember how to use a calculator, that means 277.6 fewer gallons of gas burned per year per trade. That works out to 194,320,000 gallons of gas saved, equating to 5,440,960,000 pounds of carbon dioxide not released into the atmosphere. Per year.

      This assumes 12,000 miles driven per year per driver. Assuming you only made gasoline from oil (yea, I know) that would save 9,965,128 barrels of oil each year and keep $406,000,000 out of the hands of foreign governments, be they good or bad (based on todays oil price and the % of oil we currently import).

      Taken along with the employment and economic gains (even if they are short term) plus the taxes that go along with all those things, at $2.8 billion this seems like a relative bargain compared to most things we spend taxpayer money on, like:

      $2,192,000 for the Center for Grape Genetics in Geneva
      $4,545,000 for wood utilization research
      $523,000,000 for advance procurement for 20 F-22A’s nobody wants
      $41,500,000 for three projects funding presidential libraries
      $15,000,000 for the International Fund for Ireland

      etc, etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        nice stats... but how much energy was used to produce the cars, and how much oil from foreign governments was used to produce the plastic in the cars?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @N
        "nice stats... but how much energy was used to produce the cars, and how much oil from foreign governments was used to produce the plastic in the cars?"

        Um so what's your point? Those cars were made already. Buying it or not buying it ain't going to return that energy that was used to produce the product and oil and blah blah. I get it, it's a modified spin on the producing the prius causes more pollution stuff huh?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Assuming they bought a Corolla instead of another Expedition I'd say about half as much.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Polly: Thanks for saving me the trouble. Was about to crunch the numbers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Polly - Great in theory, but not in the real world. I highly doubt most of those "clunkers" were being driven 12,000 miles anually. Using the 16 mpg average of the "clunkers" if the car was driven less than 7,680 miles/yr and the new 25 mpg car is driven over 12,000 miles/year you will burn more fuel. I have a truck that is driven about 600 miles/year and qualified for C4C. If I would have traded my 12mpg truck for a 25mpg car, I could only drive the new car 1250 miles on the same amount of fuel I currently consume. If I drive the new car 12,000 miles I would burn 430 gallons more fuel. The new cars will likely be driven more than the old car they replaced, that is the real world. If the difference in miles driven is large enough there will be no fuel savings, and it could just as easily result in higher fuel consumption.
      • 5 Years Ago
      of course, this makes several assumptions.

      1) the new cars will be driven the same mileage as the old ones. What's unknown is how many of the C4C cars traded in were primary vehicles. If they weren't, then their mileage would count less, as they'd be driven less.

      2) it's unclear as to the intended usage of the new vehicle - even if it is a primary, the question is if having a newer vehicle would reduce the usage of other means of transportation (e.g. carpooling). Most people who get a new car want to drive the new car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      C4C was not particularly well planned nor well executed. A cursory review of European like programs shows most of those nations experienced burning through money as fast. It's not clear how their administration was handled. BLUF: A cash give away probably is not the best way to in-cent improvement in overall national fuel economy.

      Perhaps offering a tax credit for for either: 1) making a significant improvement in mpg from one vehicle to the next; or 2) or trading in a vehicle greater than 10 years old unless it is considered collectable. Unfortunately the government would still have to certify the purchase and the credit would be taken when one files taxes. Moreover, the vehicles should be destroyed, but should be parted out as a way to help in growing the economy (by increasing salvage operations). In essence only the body structure and block would be crushed.

      Just a thought.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would like to see how this affected the dealership bottom lines. It sounds like it is drumming up business until you realize that the dealerships have to pay tax on that incentive, but they just passed then entire incentive on to the consumer. So it seems to me that once they run the numbers this would be bad for the bottom line for the dealerships, because many didnt know that they would have to pay tax on the incentive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nope, just normal payment. Normal taxes. Unless you can find some proof otherwise.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I read somewhere that the dealers had to pay tax on the amount of the voucher. This is not how normal payment would work. With normal payment they would only pay tax on the profits from the sale of the product. I read somewhere that regardless of the profits (or lack of profits) the dealership has to pay tax on the full voucher amount. Can anyone verify? I googled for a sec but didnt find what i was looking for.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The rebate was just considered part of the normal payment for the new car. The dealer had to pay the normal taxes. Nothing extra.
        Selling cars is good for the bottom line. That's why they exist.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @ David:

      "Indulge me in some stupid math here: $3B=700,000 cars sold. To get back to a healthy automotive sales level, say 12 Million cars sold in a year, that would roughly equal $50B. Wouldn't that be a better way to spend our money than give GM and Chrysler all that other money?"

      Just a thought - given the popularity of foreign cars in this program - what would you say if more than half of that $50 billion went to workers in Ulsan, Korea (Elantra), Toyota City, Japan (Prius), and Cuernavaca, Mexico (Versa)?

      Now mind you - that theoretical $50B didn't go to support GM or Chrysler, so those companies would be gone. And I'd bet Ford (as they have the same suppliers) wouldn't have had more than 25% of the market remaining.

      Therefore, yes, we should have given the money to the people rather than the car companies. We'd not be worried about our future anymore - it'd be owned by Asians.
      • 5 Years Ago
      16mpg to 25mpg. Not bad considering the liberalness of the program. In regard to improving fuel economy the program is a smashing success.

      To the naysayers: had the program not been in place, many people would have probably traded in their clunkers for new clunkers (such as SUVs, pickups) since those tend to have the most incentives on them. and if they hadn't traded their clunkers in, they'd still be driving clunkers. so the program succeeded in it's goal of improving efficiency.

      this one program has done more in 1 month than CAFE standards could possibly accomplish. it proves that providing incentives (cash) to purchase higher-efficiency vehicles is better than regulating the industry (CAFE).

      CAFE standards should be tossed out and the gas tax should be raised so that the market can work itself out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So the whole C4C was a failure. Again all our money goes to foreign lands, yes Toyota and Honda headquarters are there for the non-belivers, and we still get stuck with the $3 billion debt to boot, sad. If we continue to buy everything made in foreign lands (yes everyone knows they assemble only some of the vehicles here) I guess when our debt comes due we will have to change our name to U.S.A., LLC
        • 5 Years Ago
        Failure?

        Did you actually read the article?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Brother traded in his 1987 M-1001 US Army Diesel Blazer he bought from the government for $1000 for a new Nissan Versa, gaining the full $4500 credit. Score!
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      JDM autos most wanted? Not a surprise


      American autos most traded in? Not a surprise
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        Wow... Toyota's numbers will be really good at the end of August. 2 of their cars are in the top 3. Glad to know Americans still enjoy making our money more useless and shipping our value over to the orientals across the big pond.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        @Mei:

        Mostly because those are the main vehicles that qualified. IIRC, a "clunker" was defined as a sub-15MPG Combined.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        A corolla is hardly a JDM vehicle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        In all fairness though, The traded in vehicles are almost all SUVs or Large Pick-ups (segments dominated by domestic car companys).

        It is a little dissapointing to see so many foreign brands making up the purchase list.

        I suppose the public wants to send more money out of the country and drag out our recession a few years longer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        Shady, Yea I understand the large amount of domestic SUV and Truck trade in, I'm just disappointed not to see more domestic purchases.. Cobalts, Fusions, Calibers, etc...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well this is understandable, since the domestics once again got caught with their pants at their ankles.

      Notice that compacts and sub-compacts led the way as the most bought cars. Best available domestic small car is the Ford F--ked UP (oops, I meant FOCUS).

      As always, GM was left at the starting gates. The aged & ugly Cobalt didn't stand a chance. Cruze would have done much better.

      Neither did Chrysler's unloved turds, the Avenger, Sebring or Caliber.

      Well, at least the program did what it was meant to do. Good luck to the dealers on the red tape.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Show me the REAL numbers via Edmunds and then we can talk. Since the FWD (prob 4 cyl) Escape is on there at number 10 I'd wager to guess adding all the other drivetrain versions would bump the Escape up to number 1 as it was earlier in the month. What about all the other drivetrain versions of the Corolla... oh wait, there aren't any.
        • 5 Years Ago
        IIRC of the top ten on this list only the Prius and the Fit are not manufactured in the US, so many US manufacturing workers as well as the dealership employees will benefit. But yes only Ford of the domestic manufacturers greatly benefited.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree.. only if Chevy Cruze was available in US.. it might have changed the outcome. Not sure why GM is taking so long to launch it in US. It's already on sale in Korea,,

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