Cash For Clunkers, Consumer Savings, Increased Fuel Efficiency And Jobs
With the cash for clunkers program winding down, we can start to measure its effectiveness. And guess what, it was effective! The program sold almost 700,000 cars, many of which would not have otherwise been sold. It saved consumers money in both purchasing the automobile and long-term gasoline costs. Dealers who were facing hard times due to the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies will now have a boost to get them through. Third-quarter economic figures expect to have a .3-.4 increase in growth (from just a $3 billion outlay). And despite naysayers like Edmunds.com, the most tangible impact of the program is the 39,000 jobs it created:
One auto analyst called the program a success, if only because his research showed that it was responsible for saving 39,000 jobs that otherwise would have been eliminated.
"It's really more substantial than we had thought in terms of stimulus," said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research. "This is companies putting people back to work."
General Motors announced last week that it will reinstate 1,350 workers and add overtime for about 10,000 at three plants, as the automaker replenishes inventory sold during the government program. Honda also said it will increase U.S. production.
The other big winners in the program were Asian automakers. Eight of the top 10 new cars purchased through the program came from Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota, which claimed the top spot with its Corolla. The Corolla, Honda Civic and Ford Focus are manufactured in the United States.
I don't know how anyone in their right mind could find the program to be anything other than a fantastic success.
...Joe Romm concurs.