Washington’s hugely popular cash for clunkers program has boosted all auto sales 16 percent from June to July as desperate and grateful Americans unloaded the gas guzzling behemoths they had been lured into buying with huge SUV tax credits by the Bush administration. (Small business owners like doctors, lawyers, and real estate agents had been able to use fossil friendly incentives to deduct more than $100,000 of the cost of an SUV from their taxes.) Now that they have the chance, Americans are unloading those gas guzzlers.
Ford sales under Cash for Clunkers have been especially good:
Ford sales rose from 160,990 vehicles in July 2008 to 164,795 last month — an increase of 2.4 percent. as its share of the market jumped from 14.2 percent to 16.5 percent. Ford posted the first monthly sales increase of any full-line manufacturer this year as customers traded in old Fords for new ones.
But Ford trucks and SUVs also top the most dumped clunkers list.
Ford customers dumped their hunky clunker Ford Explorers averaging real-world 17 mpg in favor of the tiny fuel efficient Focus with a real-world average of 34 mpg – effectively doubling their gas mileage.
Ford’s most popular trade-ins represent a 17 mpg increase.
To qualify for the $4,500, you must increase your fuel efficiency by a minimum of 10 mpg. Fuelly.com; where users track actual mileage, gives buyers a good idea of real world fuel efficiency.
“According to the Department of Transportation, 83% of the trade-ins are trucks and SUVs, with the Ford Explorer capturing six of the ten most traded in spots. It is likely that consumers are trading in vehicles where they purchased them originally.
“The government’s program is doing what it is designed to do – spur consumers to trade in older gas guzzlers for new, fuel-efficient vehicles,” said a Chrysler spokesman.