Now raising intellectual capital

from Rolfe Winkler:

Car sales down post Cash 4 Clunkers

Car sales dropped sharply in September, after the Cash 4 Clunkers program expired. Sales compared to August were...

    Honda: -52% Toyota: -44% Other: -41% GM: -37% Ford: -37% Chrysler: -33%

Overall, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of auto sales fell back to 9.2 million in September, well below the peak over 17 million (good charts from CR here). It has been argued that the rate can't stay that low forever because old cars will have to be replaced. But will they? Does anyone have a sense for what run-rate car sales will look like if we go back to 1.0 car families?

Here's another great chart from WSJ with more granular data for each automaker.

GM coming to government’s rescue



Bankruptcy has certainly been kind to GM. It’s now able to dig into its own cash reserves and help the government out.

Auto dealers, fed up with government’s tardiness in sending out the rebates, started abandoning the program since they’re hardly in a position to float the up to $4,500 a pop given to those exchanging their clunker for a new, more fuel-efficient car.

from Rolfe Winkler:

House votes to give “clunkers” $2 billion more

Earlier I expressed my displeasure with C4C.  I'm unhappy to see the House has voted to expand it.  Reuters:

The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Friday a $2 billion extension of the "Cash-for-Clunkers" automobile sales incentive program.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Cash for Clunkers blows through $1 billion in 1 week

The subsidy for the auto sector cloaked as an environmental program has already run through its budget.  (WaPo):

"The program started only six days ago, giving vouchers to consumers who trade in their gas-guzzling cars for more fuel-efficient models. But the unexpectedly brisk response made federal transportation officials increasingly fearful Thursday that they would exhaust their [$1 billion of] allocated funds...."