Monday, August 03, 2009

Ford Focus Top Vehicle in Cash for Clunkers Program

WTG Ford, who also posted their first monthly sales increase in two years today. This program has boosted domestic sales by 2% over the usual, and that ain't too shabby either. Trade laws prevented us from making this a strictly domestic program, but given that foreign brands are built here and auto parts suppliers make up the bulk of the auto jobs (besides dealerships) - it's all good.

General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC sales account for 47 percent in the program, which is above their overall share in the auto market of about 45 percent.

The Ford Focus is the top-selling vehicle in the program. Four of the top 10-selling vehicles are manufactured by Detroit's Big Three. Of non-Big Three purchases, the Transportation Department's preliminary analysis suggests that more than half of these new vehicles were manufactured in the United States.

And Feinstein's argument just flew out the window, as the fuel economy savings have well exceeded expectations.

The transactions are generating a 61 percent increase in vehicle fuel economy. The average fuel economy of new vehicles purchased under the CARS program is 25.4 miles per gallon, and the average fuel economy of trade-ins is 15.8 mpg, for an average increase in fuel economy of 9.6 mpg.

This is well above the law's minimum requirements of a 2 mpg improvement for trucks and a 4 mpg improvement for cars.

Consumers will save money in the long run, as they predict "between $700 and $1,000 per year" in gas savings as well as fewer repairs and safer cars overall.

The Obama administration is releasing these figures to turn up the heat on the Senate, with Ray LaHood predicting today that it will pass if the Senate listens "to their car dealers and the people they represent", and already lobbyists such as the National Automobile Dealers Association and the American International Automobile Dealers are on the case.

No further word on the McCain filibuster - maybe he will quietly withdraw that threat in the face of these numbers and popular opinion.

As of now, it looks like the program is still running, with LaHood guaranteeing it through tomorrow at least.