Cash-for-Clunkers was among the more watched auto-related story lines of 2009. With the industry hurting, the government provided cash vouchers of between $3,500 and $4,500 to anyone who turned in a vehicle that was eight (or more) years-old and with between two and 10 miles-per-gallon worse fuel economy numbers than the new car or truck with which it was replaced. The program went from fledgling idea to a done deal in a matter of a few months, showing that the U.S. government is capable of move quickly when it really wants to, albeit with the help of a big fat $3 billion check.
The feat was reportedly so impressive to Department of Transportation Ray LaHood that he openly wondered whether the program should be reincarnated for 2010. Motor Trend reports that LaHood told reporters at the Detroit Auto Show that Clunkers was "the most wildly successful program ever, selling 800,000 cars in less than 30 days." It sounds like LaHood was really impressed with how C4C panned out, but will the program and its multi-billion dollar price tag resurface in 2010? LaHood says the DOT won't be begging for any spending money, and he insists that any decisions will need to be made by Congress in the year ahead.
Motor Trend says that despite LaHood's hands-off approach to Clunkers, there are persistent rumors that C4C could resurface in the second quarter of 2010 with perhaps less bountiful tax incentives and a less exorbitant price tag. We have no idea if C4C has any chance of making a cameo in 2010, though we're thinking that the consistent uptick in sales after Clunkers expired shows that the industry is beginning to improve without additional government intervention. Why spend money propping up an industry that seems to be doing a swell job of helping itself? Let us know what you think by heading over to the Comments and giving us your two-cents.
[Source: Motor Trend | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]