My other car is in limbo

August 1, 2009


Be careful what you wish for. 

Just a week after launching the cash-for-clunkers rebate program, policymakers and auto executives are left sorting through the chaos caused by the program’s runaway success.

As of Friday, there was no knowing how much longer funding for the program will last. The Obama administration has reassured car shoppers and dealers that any trade-ins over the weekend will be honored at rebates for up to $4,500. Meanwhile, the U.S. House rushed to triple funding  for the program, adding another $2 billion in a bill that heads to the Senate where it could face tougher scrutiny.U.S. car sales for July, set to be released on Monday, are expected to show a turbocharged boost from the government program, a sleeper success in a string of policy steps aimed at stabilizing the U.S. auto industry that has included government-sponsored bankruptcies at GM and Chrysler.Before the rush of clunker trade-ins, analysts had been looking for industry-wide July auto sales to top 10 million units, the highest rate of 2009 and an encouraging sign the market has turned the corner. Investors have discounted some of that recovery. Shares in AutoNation, the No. 1 dealership group, have gained 48 percent since the start of the second quarter. Shares in the No. 2 dealership group, Penske Automotive Group, have more than doubled.With inventories tight, automakers also stand to gain as production — and revenues — increase in the second half. July sales data will help sort the winners from the losers, but the early anecdotal evidence suggests that the some of the biggest gains have gone to the automakers that were already outperforming.

Hyundai says about 18 percent of its sales in the month of July included a cash-for-clunker backed trade-in. Ford,  which is seeking to distance itself from the rest of Detroit, reports that cash-for-clunker trade-ins were boosting sales of smaller, more fuel-efficient cars as opposed to crossovers and trucks. That is also the area where Ford’s product line-up is seen as giving it an edge against GM and Chrysler.
8 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Interesting how in America, Hyundai has no problems selling it’s products here, but South Korea allows virtually NO USA products to be sold there…How do you say Monopoly in Korean?Ervin Raab

Posted by Ervin Raab | Report as abusive

Referencing Ervin Raab’s post, it’s not so much “how do you say monopoly in Korean?” but rather how do you say “unfair trade” in English? Our leaders in Washington continue to show they are not pro-America. If they were, they’d make sure Americans’ interests topped foreign interests. They don’t.Another reason to vote against Republicans — their continued support of unregulated business and unrestricted trade, putting our nation in peril. As long as they get theirs, why should they care if America falls apart?

Posted by Mike H. | Report as abusive

I think you’ll find it isn’t the fact that South Korea allows virtually no USA products to be sold there but if South Koreans really wanted US-made goods they’d import them, simple as that. The fact is, America doesn’t make cars that the rest of the world wants to buy. In fact, it doesn’t even make cars that Americans want to buy. It’s not about protectionism, it’s about rubbish manufacturing.

Posted by Citiboy | Report as abusive

to Mike H.To say that the republicans are at fault is complete stupidity: Democrats Control the Congress the last time I checked. So think before you talk.P.S. Both parties are at fault, since both of them are incompetent

Posted by Vladimir | Report as abusive

Koreans really wanted US-made goods they’d import them, simple as that. The fact is, America doesn’t make cars that the rest of the world wants to buy. In fact, it doesn’t even make cars that Americans want to buy.


I have been saying it for years now. The dems are in control. Koreans could care less for American made goods. The goods exchange is not reciprocal at all. I don’t think we should hold are breath either

Posted by AutoTransport10 | Report as abusive

Well the Korean’s make a good car, who can blaim the American Public For Wanting a Decent car that is well warrantied for cheap? I mean, with today’s economy, who has the money to spend

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Posted by elmstreetdesign | Report as abusive

Wouldn’t go as far to say that cash for clunkers was a success. It seemed like a way to trick consumers into spending money.

Posted by autotransport85 | Report as abusive

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