According to a Brookings evaluation of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), more commonly known as Cash for Clunkers, the $2.85-billion program cost taxpayers $1.4 million for each of the 3,676 jobs created by it from June to December 2009. The White House reportedly estimated that the program would create 70,000 jobs. Additionally, the evaluation states that more effective alternative fiscal stimulus policies could have been implemented instead of CARS.
2009 was the single worst sales year for the auto industry in 30 years, with just 10.4 million vehicles moving off dealer lots. Consultancy A.T. Kearney feels a lot better about 2010 and beyond, though, as pent-up demand is beginning to creep into the market. A.T. Kearney predicts that by the time 2010 is in the history books, the industry will have hit between 11.4 and 12.3 million cars and trucks sold, but if you hold the company to just one number, it estimates a market of 11.7 million units.
Akio Toyoda, the new President of Toyota and grandson of company founder Kiichiro Toyoda, is predicting another two years of tough times for the auto industry. In order to stay afloat, the Japanese automaker, under the direction of Toyoda, will build more autonomous operations in North America and concentrate on a more region-specific lineup to help the company pull through the recession.