Clunkers program makes no sense to me

Discussion in 'Chrysler' started by raveneon, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. raveneon

    raveneon Well-Known Member

    Isn't all this money being spent on the wrong people? The people who could afford a newer car but CHOOSE to drive a fsp are now given a discount:confused: While the people who are actually poor and could use some govt assistance still can't afford a car payment so they receive no benefit. I propose the used econobox for fsp program. Instead of credit, just give them a metro, echo or similar car in trade for recycling their current beast. Wouldn't this make much more sense?
  2. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    Well that wouldn't do anything to stimulate the auto industry (read GM and chrysler) now would it? ;)

    Notice Chrysler had their own deal added? Tell me this wasn't part of "restructuring"...
  3. raveneon

    raveneon Well-Known Member

    Okay point taken. Even if it works it would only be temporary as GM has that whole philosophy of filling the lots whether the cars are selling or not. When are they gonna adopt the sell one build one concept?

    Does Chrysler even make a fuel efficient vehicle? Even their econobox neon became a mini-suv... :confused:
  4. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    The clunkers program punishes people who have historically chosen fuel efficient vehicles. It's a shame that I can't trade in a 17 year old car that gets 22mpg average and get the "rebate" as long as I choose one that gets 9mpg more. If they want to cling to the "lower pollution" motivation, they could have limited it to "fuel efficient" cars that are 1984-1995 - pre OBDII. Those older cars don't remember trouble codes as well, and the CEL doesn't light until the car is on fire or running on two cylinders. The fuel savings is not as significant when replacing "efficient" with "more efficient", but it'd get all those old compacts with the oil consumption issues and clogged converters off the road.
  5. Taliesin

    Taliesin Well-Known Member

    I would have preffered this idea:

    You can trade in any vehicle ('84 or newer that you have owned over a year and is still legal on the roads).

    If you trade in for a vehicle that get's 33% better FE, you get $2500. If you trade in for one that gets 50% better you get $3500. If it gets 100% better, you get the full $4500.
  6. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    This would've been a better idea as a whole, now..if you own a company, and have the ability to stimulate the market for the products you have, would you do the "ethical" thing and stimulate the market for all the products, or just your products, knowing they are crap, but you plan on using the revenue to improve your products so you convince yourself it's the right thing...

    Oh, let's not forget that the stimulant comes from those who are NOT able to take advantage of your offers...and they don't get any payback.

    It's really sad you have to beat grown human beings into making the adult/right decision...and since their "adults," you have to bribe them to not destroy the earth for their descendants.
  7. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Good intentions behind Cash for Clunkers, but I'm pretty disgusted with the details. As usual, a good idea turns to crap once the lobbyists get their hands on it. Things I don't like about this welfare program for automakers and the upper middle class:
    • It rewards past bad behavior. If we're going to subsidize FE vehicles, we should do it (at least to a degree) for all buyers, not just those who've bought FSPs in the past. I have owned 11 cars over the years but I've always tried to pay some attention to mileage. As a result I have never owned a sub-18mpg vehicle that would qualify for scrap under this program. If I still had one of my old 22mpg Subarus (1990 and 1996) and wanted to trade it in for a 41mpg Insight I'd say that's plenty deserving of a rebate.
    • The new vehicle may only need to beat the old vehicle by 4mpg to qualify. Come on. I'm hearing stories about people trading in an 18mpg camry for a 22mpg subaru. I'd require that the new vehicle get at least 35% better mileage than the one being traded in -- 50% if you want the $4500 rebate. If you want to trade in a old beater Accord (even though it gets >18mpg) for an HCH, then you should qualify.
    • It's good for cars with base prices of up to $45,000. With some luxury vehicles you could option up above $60k and still qualify. I don't want my tax dollars giving auto welfare to people who can afford $60,000 cars! I certainly don't think anything over $30k should qualify (sorry, HiHy buyers) and should probably start phasing out above $25k. I'd rather subsidize a Civic LX than a TCH loaded up with leather, nav and HIDs.
    • It's a regressive rebate, mostly rewarding people who can afford new cars (minus the rebate price, of course). The poor will largely be passed over, even though it is they who are disproportionately stuck driving clunker FSPs. Sure, there are some lower income who will be able to afford new cars under this program that couldn't otherwise, but the vouchers are going to get snapped up by wealthier buyers before most of them get a chance to get in. I'd like to see (1) the program tightened down at the high end and (2) some sort of program to help out used car buyers, who are more likely to be retiring REAL clunkers.
    • As with CAFE, the rules are stacked to encourage truck sales over car sales. Trucks only need to show a 2mpg improvement (vs 4mpg for cars) to qualify for the $3500 rebate, or 5mpg (vs 10mpg for cars) to qualify for the $4500 rebate. According to Honda's site, a freakin' 17mpg Ridgeline can qualify for a rebate. Sheesh. Under these rules no one is going to trade their truck in for a car because it's easier to trade for another truck -- and MOST people driving trucks these days should be driving cars. I say make the rules exactly the same for cars and trucks. 35% improvement, minimum. No trading one FSP for a slightly less-FSP.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  8. SD3_Driver

    SD3_Driver Well-Known Member

    100% agree, this is only to help the auto industry, nothing to do with FE at all....:mad:
  9. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    This is not the perfect program for FE, but it's a going to save some jobs and get money flowing again. The program was not for the poor who could not afford a new vehicle anyway, it was for folks who could with an incentive. My guess is that it will work and more funding will be approved. We need a rush at the dealers to help the autoworkers and parts manufactures keep their jobs and slow the bleeding of our economy. That includes those better FSP SUV's that large families must own to the best FE cars and hybrids. Lets face it, we know the best FE comes from the driver and most people are going to drive like bats out of hell in any vehicle they buy.

  10. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Just to clarify, my biggest problems are not that it is biased towards the better-off or rewards past behavior (though those do bother me) but that a lot of the credits will go to people who aren't getting a very big mpg bump.

    I don't necessarily mind subsidizing someone buying a 20mpg Odyssey -- if it means they're junking a 12mpg Tahoe to do it. What bugs me is someone getting a big credit to trade in an 18mpg Sienna for that Odyssey. The fact that everyone's going to drive like a bat out of hell is all the more reason this program should only be subsidizing big (>35%) improvements. At least they'd be doing it in more FE vehicles.
  11. brucepick

    brucepick Well-Known Member

    I'm with WriConsult. In this program, there's not enough incentive to move up to a much more fuel efficient vehicle. Come on, 22 or 24 mpg as satisfactory to earn the rebate? When there are plenty that can get 30-35-40 mpg?

    And there definitely should be a "buy used" option. When I semi-retired my well-loved Volvo 240 for a Civic HX at a cost of about $3000 I had to pay for it myself. If I had gotten a break from the gov'mint I might have been able to afford a somewhat better one, maybe slightly newer, for $5000 or so.
  12. WoodyWoodchuck

    WoodyWoodchuck Sophomore Hypermiler

    I sure could have used this program… last year. My ’94 Cherokee is rated 15/20 – 17 mpg combined, the Yaris 29/36 – 32.5 combined. That is about a 91% increase in EPA combined mileage. Not many vehicles out there rated at 34 mpg combined so I could increase my clunker mileage by 100%.

    I tracked mileage in the Cherokee, 18 mpg for my commute. The Yaris’ lifetime average (15,000 miles so far) is 47 mpg for the same commute, about 160% better mileage than the Cherokee. In the summer challenge I have logged about 2,500 miles so far and average 53.7 mpg, 198% better mileage then the clunker!

    But! The question comes down to: Would I have bought the base model Yaris hatch if someone had a $4,500 carrot on a stick in front of me? Answer no. I would have gone for a hybrid because now I might just be able to afford one. Which one would be an easy choice, the Escalade! With 24’s, spinners, leather, dual quad hyperblaster stereo with big thumpers in the back…

    Kidding! I do agree that the program did not take into account all the older semi-fuel efficient vehicles that are in disrepair and need to be replaced. Someone getting in the mid 20’s for mpg in an 80’s or 90’s bomb should have been included in this also. I think these folks would have easily gone for the most fuel efficient vehicle they could afford. Why do I think this? Because I am in the same boat where money is tight and especially with a car payment saving every penny you can each week makes economic sense.

    But, taking these vehicles off the road would lead to mechanics out of work, less auto parts to fix them sold, less domestic vehicles sold… Not to mention this would hurt our investment in Government Motors due to no one buying the existing inventory of vehicles that qualify for the program!
  13. HybridFan

    HybridFan 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

    I traded my 13 year old F-150 with 133K city driven miles for a 2010 Fusion Hybrid. At the dealership, they said most people were trading trucks for cars. Truck sales are down significantly these past 3 years. You can't give them away compared to sales trends in 2006 and prior years. Mostly they are being purchased by commercial users/businesses.

    I love trucks, but as I am getting older I have become much more aware of how things affect the environment. I think the CARS program for the most part is just "pulling ahead" purchase decisions for people that were going to buy new vehicles within the next 12 months anyway.

    I don't know about the city and county where you live, but my city and county are laying off hundreds of employees. I am sure they love seeing the increases in tax revenues the CARS program is creating.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  14. HybridFan

    HybridFan 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

    Here is some further evidence that the CARS rebates are working - from AP:

    Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the average mileage of new vehicles purchased through the program is 9.6 miles per gallon higher than for the vehicles traded in for scrap. Buyers of new cars and trucks that get 10 mpg better than their trade-ins get the $4,500 rebate. People whose cars get between 4 mpg and 10 mpg better fuel efficiency qualify for a smaller $3,500 rebate.

    LaHood said some 80 percent of the traded-in vehicles are pickups or SUVs, meaning many gas-guzzlers are being taken off the road. The Ford Focus is a leading replacement vehicle. General Motors Co., Chrysler Group LLC and Ford accounted for 47 percent of the new vehicles purchased.
  15. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    I used the program for my new Prius.
    I was driving a 87 Volvo that got roughly 20-21 mpg. The only reason I've kept the
    car for so long is because it was reliable and worth very little as a trade in maybe $500-$750.

    It wasn't worth it to go out and buy a new $23K-$24K Prius using the Volvo as a trade in.
    The Clunkers program made it well worth buying a NEW Prius last month. I was looking for a replacement for the wagon anyway before the winter. I had been looking for a used low mileage HCHII BTW.

    I've driven four cylinder Volvo's since 1981 so don't put me in the same camp as the FSP owners. I just happen to get lucky when the EPA dropped the combined mileage last year on my wagon.

    The program is working as designed by increasing the fuel mileage of the replacement vehicles by 61% over the clunkers being turned in. I have to agree that the mileage differential should be wider than the present program is offering.
    I understand the Senate is voting this week on an extension with the possibility of demanding a wider spread between the clunker and the replacement vehicle. I'm all for these new mileage regulations being considered.
    I went from 18 mpg to 50 mpg with the program.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  16. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    From the same article White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said "Eighty-three percent of the vehicles traded in were trucks or SUVs, while 60 percent of the vehicles purchased were passengers cars, for an average increase in fuel efficiency of 61 percent".

    So apparently 40% of vehicles purchased through this program where not cars, but trucks and SUV.

    That the average purchased vehicle's EPA rating is only 25.4 tells us that for every Prius or HCH sold there must be several FSPs too. It will be impossible to know the true effect on co2 reduction, but I'm sure a lot of buyers will be driving their new vehicle a lot further than the FSP it replaced

    No surprise it's SUVs and pickups making up the majority of vehicles. Anything higher than 18 is disqualified, and there aren't that many passenger cars that get that bad.

    Overall a very expensive way to get FSP off the road since there are 250 million registered vehicles in the US.

    Best case scenario with 3 billion dollars and a 10mpg boost is about a 0.1% reduction in co2.

    Seems expensive to me.

    For short term sales it may seem beneficial, for long term co2 reduction it is a huge bust.
  17. drimportracing

    drimportracing Pizza driver: 61,000+ deliveries

    You've got to look at the long term....we will be owned by the Chinese one day, who we owe huge amounts of money to already. So when it comes time to pay back all this money spent to boost our economy the dollar will be worthless, the Chinese will be angry and we will have bought all of our new vehicles on borrowed money. Get ready for rice paddies and mandatory Tai Chi Chuan morning exercises.

    It's like our government is doing the same thing with our deficit as many Americans were doing with credit cards not so long ago. The thing that got us into so much trouble, easy spending with no concern for the future payback. :eek::flag: - Dale
  18. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Precisely. :ccry:
  19. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    I sold my first two clunker deals Monday. We have half a (parking)lot of cars going through the destruction possess now. The lot used to be one of our Civic/Fit/Insight lots.
  20. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Well if everyone did it the way you did, there would be some significant fuel savings for sure!
    still, that is taxpayer money going to toyota hmmm:eyebrow:
    my van qualifies as a clunker 18 mpg epa 1998, mabye i should get a new prius.

    naaaaa! I don't want to take peoples money, If I want a new car, I will do it the old fashioned way, work and save my $$$ :)
    Besides, I am beating a prius epa this summer in my other clunker ;)

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