OCTOBER 28, 2009
DOW JONES NEWSWIRESI'm sure they are just honest mistakes. At least these government bureaucrats don't anyone’s lives on the line with these decisions... Yet...
The government's "Cash for Clunkers" program may have only added 125,000 vehicle sales, according to Edmunds.com, which said the rest of the units sold would have happened regardless of the program.
In total, the car-shopping Web site said about 690,000 vehicles were sold during the program. Edmunds.com said that based on the actual sales gained from the program, the Cash for Clunkers program cost taxpayers $24,000 per vehicle sold.
"Our research indicates that without the Cash for Clunkers program, many customers would not have traded in an old vehicle when making a new purchase," said Edmunds.com senior analyst David Tompkins. "That may give some credence to the environmental claims, but unfortunately the economic claims have been rendered quite weak."
Edmunds.com Chief Executive Jeremy Anwyl noted that while sales are up in October from September, growth would have been even better without the program. He said that suggests the auto industry's recovery is gaining momentum.
Sales surged in late July and most of August as the program was in effect, giving certain new-car buyers up to $4,500 in rebates if they traded in a gas-guzzler. But U.S. auto sales slid in September absent clunker-related deals. Other countries still have so-called scrappage programs in effect.
-By John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2480; firstname.lastname@example.org