• Sep 23, 2009
After a month of relentless Cash for Clunkers coverage, we were more than pleased when the Fed's buy-back program finally ended. Nearly every other day C4C was in danger of getting shut down because of a lack of funds. Then there were dealers were worried about getting paid and customers who had to sign responsibility forms in the event their clunker wasn't covered under the program. But while we've had more than our fill of C4C, the car-buying public wants more.

A recent poll conducted by Kicking Tires shows that 55 percent of recent car buyers and current shoppers feel C4C should be resurrected. You might be thinking that anyone who's recently purchased a new car would be pleased with any program which provided $4,500 for an inefficient hunk of junk, but only ten percent of respondents participated in the program. Among those involved, 37 percent would have purchased a new car over a used car if C4C was in effect, 30 percent weren't anticipating a purchase of any kind and 24 percent held off on new car purchases until clunkers arrived.

While many car buyers would love a continuation of Cash for Clunkers, we're guessing tax payers probably don't want to dole out another $3 billion to clear our nations roads of additional rust buckets. Heck, according to an Automotive News survey, 44 percent of dealers didn't even want the program extended the first time.

[Source: Kicking Tires | Image Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty]


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  • 42 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Having spent over 15 yrs in various sections of the retail car business, the majority of which was on the financial side, I have three comments;
      1. This program has effectively removed thousands of good quality, re-saleable used vehicles from the market place, depriving people who can't afford / finance a new vehicle of a reliable set of wheels.
      2. Like any other huge "rebate" run, C4C has sucked up future buyers for several months, as any "mini-boom" like this does, creating a months-long lull for dealers that they could do without, and
      3. Anything the government does is like five monkeys trying to f**k a coconut. Keep them and their "programs" out of our lives. Dealers and consumers alike are still complaining en-mass about the problems associated with C4C.
        • 5 Years Ago
        COMMENT OF THE DAY, NEE WEEK, NEE MONTH.

        "anything the government does is like 5 monkeys trying to f*** a monkey"

        rflmao
        • 5 Years Ago
        Excellent point. Would you not agree that the 0% financing and employee pricing we saw for 3-5 years also helped bury auto sales and in turn profits?

        I don't know if ou saw this but check it out the link.

        http://autos.aol.com/article/cash-for-clunkers-greenwash

        There are many articles about this and I know of dealers having a couple customers call and actually cancel their orders because they realized they don't need a new car payment.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Regarding #1:

        There was a story recently in my local newspaper about how used car dealerships are now seeing much higher prices at auction for used cars. Of course, that higher price paid for the cars wholesale will be transferred on to the consumer at retail. So, how is that supposed to help someone who wants to buy a car but can't afford and/or doesn't want to buy new? They now have to pay more for those used cars than they would have before since the Gov't would rather see those cars destroyed rather than purchased.

        Not terribly surprising though, C4C effectively removed a large number of vehicles from the supply of used cars out there by mandating their destruction. Of course, without an equal decrease in demand(probably more like an increase), the prices went up. But, to presume that most politicians understand even the simplest form of economics is askign a lot apparently.

        Guess the Gov't, in it's infinite wisdom will see fit to offer a C4C-like program for used cars too to plug up the hole they created and the story just goes on and on..............
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah they do C4C but at the expense of making higher ed. less avilable. The MAP grant has been canceled because there's apparently no more money, the government better get their priorities set ASAP!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes, the American free market died somewhere back in the early 60s. I believe it was on a Tuesday.

      If you love Amtrak, the Post Office and the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, you're going to go ape over the new American automobile industry, where you get government cash if you buy "the right car," but only at the "right time" and from the "right dealer."

      I am more than a little miffed that tax dollars went to help Buffy and Steve get rid of their old Volvo and buy that new, sporty Prius. Where was my uncle Sam last week when I bought my Ford Escape? Barbarians!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I love Amtrak - nothing like riding a train across the country.
        • 5 Years Ago
        and like every other Gov't entity I can think of, it can't pay for itself and is constantly subsidized to keep it around.

        Private sector railroads manage to make money, but the Gov't can't get Amtrak to make a dime.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amtrak#Public_funding
      • 5 Years Ago
      Alas America has become a country where we want everything, as long as someone else pays for it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow Luis,

        this comment is about 180 degrees off from virtually every other comment you've made in this story.

        I can honestly say I agree with you 100% on this.

        Now, whether or not we agree on who's paying their fair share tax-wise may be another story.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's so very true. And when you do try to level the playing field to make people pay their fair share to run society they freak out and say "don't raise my taxes" or "no tolls". Everything should be free.
      • 5 Years Ago
      60,000 cars submitted by dealers were rejected. + all the problems the dealers had submitting. no wonder the dealers didnt want to deal with it.

      and the comment about 'free money' above. I know it was in jest but a large no. of the population considers government handouts just that. the government just makes it. la la la. it is financed by us with our taxes and increased prices from tariffs.

      the government is a leach on the free market. it does not produce one thing. the bigger the leach, the weaker the market becomes. look at France. what the heck are they know for. they are not market leaders, they are not innovators. that is where we are headed.


      • 5 Years Ago
      The Cash for Clunkers Crash is going to be ugly. GM, Chrysler, and Ford are all going to hurt bad, but the company that will take the REAL hammering when September sales figures come out will be Ford. Ford will be down, big time, and slide further towards Chapter 11.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Enlighten me as to why you think that.

        So far Ford dealers are reporting decent sales numbers and the Taurus has gotten off to a very good start.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Tagg,

        He can't "enlighten" any of us, because he doesn't actually think that. He is just trolling to stir things up, and to get attention. Apparently he wasn't hugged enough as a child.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As much as i do hate the C4C program, I would have participated if it were not for the fact that my Maxima gets 1mpg over the limit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      JackOffMan001,

      Get outa here ! We're not interested, JackAssMan001.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How about this for a radical idea... EVERYONE WHO PAYS TAXES gets a $4500 tax break. Then each individual decides where THEY want to spend the extra money they have in their hands (household, durable goods, car, clothing, food, etc...) and our ENTIRE economy gets a boost, rather than just one segment (that curiously now has a large stakeholder in the Federal Government). This is a simple and effective idea that will never see the light due to our current Government's love of handing out cash as though it were Monopoly money and they could just print it up... hey wait!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wrong. Tax breaks always work. Give it to ALL who pay taxes and it will work in a much more cohesive and productive way than something like the C4C program, which only temporarily props things up, and worse, creates a sense of entitlement that ultimately hurts the economy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        We've tried this numerous times and it doesn't work. People just pay debt and save money (not bad things, but those don't stimulate the economy as much as direct spending).
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder whether there will be a sequel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So 55% of the people surfing a used car website would like government assistance paying for those used cars?

      Imagine that!
      • 5 Years Ago
      So lets get this straight: the public that bought (likely on credit) faddish SUVs guzzlers likes the free money from the government to not only cover the massive depreciation on their toys but subsidize their next purchase? This is news?

      Howabout a check in the mail for everyone who bought a car in the same period that DIDN'T guzzle? I don't want a new car, just mail me $1000 and I'll deposit it in my savings account. Give $2000 for everyone who bought an economic domestic car. Only fair...
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