Saturday, August 08, 2009

Cash For Clunkers: The Big Winners Are...Trucks !

OK, forget the list that I put out on Tuesday (Lunatic Economics, indeed) - it turns out, as usual, the government is being deceptive, and the American people are smarter than their representatives, the media, and Bill Maher ("Just because a country elects a smart president doesn't make it a smart country") ever will be.

Seems as if the vehicles most purchased via the "frenzy" of the "Cash-for-Clunkers" program are not the Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, or the Toyota Prius. Seems as if the government doesn't know how to account for "trim levels", especially popular on pickups and SUVs.

For example, my Honda Pilot comes in six trim levels. If six people bough six Pilots, each in a different trim, the government would count it as one sale for each type of Pilot, and might even subdivide it further by 2WD and 4WD, thus skewering the sales totals and making them seem less popular, say, then a Focus or Civic. CNN Money reports:

The government's results showed small cars as the top choice for shoppers looking for Cash for Clunker deals. But an independent analysis by disputed those results, and showed that two full-size trucks and a small crossover SUV were actually among the top-ten buys.

The discrepancy is a result of the methods used. uses traditional sales measurements, tallying sales by make and model. The government uses a more arcane measurement method that subdivides models according to engine and transmission types, counting them as separate models.

...Sales of GM's Silverado truck, under the government's counting method, were divided among five different versions. So were the Ford F-150s. If the different versions of these trucks were considered the same vehicle, as auto sales are normally reported, sales of these trucks would look much heftier

So if you take all of the trim levels into account, here is the list of best selling vehicles under the now $3 billion "Cash for Clunkers" program:

1 - Ford Escape
2 - Ford Focus
3 - Jeep Patriot
4 -Dodge Caliber
5 - Ford F-150
6 -Honda Civic
7 -Chevrolet Silverado
8 -Chevrolet Cobalt
9 -Toyota Corolla
10- Ford Fusion

So four of the top seven vehicles under this program are either SUVs or pickup trucks! Oh, too funny...

Props to Ford, for being able to squeeze a whole line of products - from economy to 4WD trucks - into the top ten. And all without a taxpayer bailout.

Well, the "clunkers" program is a bailout - it reduces the price of new vehicles by $4,500 by using taxpayer dollars to cover the difference and rebate the automakers.

At least Ford isn't double-dipping. And we get to see yet another great liberal experiment blow up like a junior high-school chemistry experiment. Instead of the roads being flooded with shiny little hybrids, we get more kick-ass pickups and a few extra Jeeps and Escapes to boot, driven by smirking citizens who just know they took Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman for a ride....

Great job, Democrats. You've put the nation an extra $3 billion in the whole, and had your brilliant idea of a hybrid generation run over by Americans who were just a little bit smarter than you - as usual.

But I am sure that government will do a much better job with nationalized health care...

UPDATE: Oddly, CNN Money has posted - only twelve hours after the link above - another "top 10" list for the "Cash-for Clunkers" program, this one echoing earlier versions that do not account for various trim/drivetrain levels. Guess CNN has decidedto use the government's list, even though they know, and have written, that it is factually incorrect.

And they wonder why we don't believe a word they say...

UPDATE II: And a week later, the media finally gets on board...

1 comment:

Miranda said...

Do you know the actual numbers on how many cars were traded in versus how much was spent in rebate? I'm just sick over the destruction of something of real value. Who came up with these economics? And the energy expended in the destruction, not to mention the disposal of the vehicles?