Senate Expected to Extend “cash-for-clunkers” Program – but Four of Top Five Purchases Are Foreign

August 5, 2009

(ChattahBox) — While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he had the votes to pass a $2 billion extension for the “cash-for-clunkers” program, already approved by the House, many are wondering if it’s all that it should be.   Senate leaders said they plan to schedule a vote this week to boost funding.   The program awards rebates of between $3,500 and $4,500 to consumers who trade in old cars for newer, more fuel-efficient ones, aiding consumer spending and allowing nearly a quarter-million Americans to buy new cars.
The trade-in program has proved so popular (157,000 trades had occurred as of Tuesday morning) that the government is in danger of running out of money for the rebates, with $664 million of the $1 billion already appropriated for the effort. More than 80 percent of the vehicles turned in were trucks and sport-utility vehicles, the government said, so a lot of gas guzzlers have been taken off the road, which is good.

However, according to new data released Tuesday by federal transportation officials though, four of the five top-selling cars in the government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program are made by foreign automakers: 1. Ford Focus, 2. Toyota Corolla, 3. Honda Civic, 4. Toyota Prius and 5. Toyota Camry.

As originally proposed according to the LA Times, the clunkers program would have barred rebates for cars produced overseas, and would have provided less money for cars produced in Canada or Mexico. These restrictions were dumped in part over concerns about creating problems with America’s trade partners.

Overall, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have accounted for about 47% of the 157,000 new vehicles sold under the clunkers program.  That figure is a little deceptive in that of the top 4 foreign cars on the list, only the Prius is built exclusively in Japan, while on the other side of the spectrum, 95%  of Honda Civic’s sold in the states are built in Indiana or Ontario, Canada, and all of the engines are made in the U.S..

The vote to extend the measure using money formerly set aside to use toward renewable-energy subsidies will allow the rebates to continue through September.


2 Responses to “Senate Expected to Extend “cash-for-clunkers” Program – but Four of Top Five Purchases Are Foreign”

  1. Senate Expected to Extend “cash-for-clunkers” Program - but Four of Top Five Purchases Are Foreign « Honda on August 5th, 2009 8:28 am

    […] See the rest here: Senate Expected to Extend “cash-for-clunkers” Program – but Four of Top Five Purchases Are Forei… […]

  2. jhenry on August 12th, 2009 1:38 am

    You donot need actual vouchers or coupons to partipate in this program. All dealers are required and government will
    reimburse the fees for the clunkers


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