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Scrappage in the USA

Fri, 31 Jul 2009
From the "Planet Gore" blog on the National Review (USA) site.

Lionel Albert

Knowlton, Quebec

Crush for Clunkers [Henry Payne]
Detroit, Mich. — How much do our green representatives in Washington hate SUVs?
They’re having them dismantled and destroyed.

As customers flocked to auto dealers this week to see if they qualified for
$3,500-$4,500 in taxpayer-subsidized “Cash for Clunkers” rebates, a little noticed
provision of the program requires that the trade-in vehicles be “scrapped, crushed
or shredded.” The 136-page rulebook [PDF] by which NHTSA administers the Clunkers
program is a revealing window into the planet-first ideologues that are now running
our country.

First conceived by liberal Princeton Prof. Alan Binder, Cash for Clunkers was
intended to provide a boost to moribund U.S. car sales. Binder modeled his idea on
German scrappage laws, which are open to all vehicles, and he estimated that between
2 and 5 million cars would be traded in — a real shot in the arm to an industry that
has seen sales cut in half from 17 million vehicles in 2006.

But being obsessed with converting Americans to their green religion, Democratic
Washington perverted the program’s intention by limiting eligible trade-ins to
“gas-guzzlers” getting 18 mpg or less — and with the caveat that new vehicles get at
least 18 mpg and be at least 4 mpg greener in order to qualify for the rebate.
Congress’s prudish green plan is limited to a measly 250,000 trade-ins, as a host of
new cars sitting on dealer lots don’t qualify for the program. Want to trade in your
old 2000 Ford Explorer SUV for a new one? No chance. The 16 mpg Explorer is not
morally approved by Washington.

There are nearly 350 models of car, truck, and minivan available in the U.S. market,
but only a righteous remnant gets Congress's green imprimatur. Chrysler, for example
— which has received billions in federal bailout dollars — qualifies only nine of
its 20 new models for Washington’s rebate. Some stimulus.

Worse, Democratic demands that the guzzlers be permanently shredded means that
already hurting used-car and -parts businesses will suffer. By insisting that the
cars not only be crushed — but also that their engines be disabled — Congress’s
decree will penalize the industry at time when a dozen U.S. parts suppliers have
filed for bankruptcy this year.

“Why throw away good parts when the supply chain is in jeopardy?” the Automotive
Recyclers Association’s Michael Wilson asked the AP. Good question.

So obsessive is Washington that NHTSA is actually advising car dealers to replace a
trade-in’s motor oil with a sodium silicate solution — then run the engine to ruin
it so scrap dealers can’t resell any of its parts.

The victims will be lower-income Americans who typically buy only used parts and
vehicles. “Now you’re removing cars people could afford, and they’re not available
anymore,” says Norm Wright, a Denver recycler. “There will be fewer cars to pull
from, so the price of parts will go up.”

SUVs, apparently, aren’t the only things being sacrificed at the green altar.

Top 10 Cars to Avoid if You Don't Have a Cash for Clunkers Trade-In

August 6, 2009

With the huge success of the "cash for clunkers" program, the NHTSA has a total of over 150,000 dealer transactions reported so far.

As expected, small and midsized sedans are the most popular cars that are being purchased under the program. Here is the list of the top 10 "cash for clunkers" purchases so far:

 

  1. Ford Focus
  2. Toyota Corolla
  3. Honda Civic
  4. Toyota Prius
  5. Toyota Camry
  6. Ford Escape FWD
  7. Hyundai Elantra
  8. Dodge Caliber
  9. Honda Fit
  10. Chevrolet Cobalt

If you don't have a trade-in that qualifies for the "cash for clunkers" program, your best bet may be to hold off buying one of these popular models until after the program has ended.

Demand for these vehicles has shot up and dealers are in no mood to negotiate when there are tons of buyers clamoring for the same thing. Remember, supply and demand is one of the most important factors when it comes to the price of the car.

After the program ends, demand for these vehicles will go back down and dealers will once again be willing to make some great deals. Yes, you have to wait a couple of months, but the savings will probably be worth it.

It doesn't make sense to compete with buyers coming into the showroom with a $4,500 voucher from the government. It's not the same playing field, so don't short-change yourself.

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