Cash for Clunkers: The Statistics

Aug 27, 2009
Now that the Cash for Clunkers program is over, the numbers are rollin’ in.  During the program, 690,114 cars were destroyed.  However, only 40% of cars purchased by consumers after trading in their old vehicles were American-made.

Secretary of Transportation
Ray LaHood called the CARS program “wildly successful” because of the large jump in sales during its run and added that “American consumers and workers were the clear winners thanks to the Cash for Clunkers program.” Consumers definitely won with CARS.  Demand was so high that the program’s initial funding was exhausted in less than a week.  It is not yet known exactly how many of the 690,114 sales were pull-forward sales and how many were purchases that would not have been made without the incentive.

Sales of more fuel-efficient vehicles saw a huge spike during the run of Cash for Clunkers, with the average mileage on trade-ins at 15.8 mpg compared to new vehicle mileage of 24.9 mpg.  That’s an average improvement in fuel economy of 58%.  Although, it is debatable whether the sales of environmentally friendly cars offset the impact of manufacturing those cars.

American automakers did get a boost from Cash for Clunkers.  Ford reported its first increase in sales since 2007 and GM added factory shifts to meet product demands.  Manny of the cars sold were at least assembled in the United States, but the Big Three automakers only had 38% of total sales.

The biggest seller under the program was Toyota, with 19.4% of final sales.  GM and Ford had 17.6% and 14.4% respectively.
An interesting side note: all of the ten most traded-in vehicles come from US companies.
10 Most Traded-In Vehicles under CARS
1. Ford Explorer 4WD
2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4. Ford Explorer 2WD
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD
6. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
8. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
9. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD
10. Ford Windstar FWD Van
10 Most Purchased Vehicles under CARS
1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford Focus
5. Hyundai Elantra
6. Nissan Versa
7. Toyota Prius
8. Honda Accord
9. Honda Fit
10. Ford Escape FWD

Sales of more fuel-efficient vehicles saw a huge spike during the run of Cash for Clunkers, with the average mileage on trade-ins at 15.8 mpg compared to new vehicle mileage of 24.9 mpg.  That’s an average improvement in fuel economy of 58%.  Although, it is debatable whether the sales of environmentally friendly cars offset the impact of manufacturing those cars.

American automakers did get a boost from Cash for Clunkers.  Ford reported its first increase in sales since 2007 and GM added factory shifts to meet product demands.  Manny of the cars sold were at least assembled in the United States, but the Big Three automakers only had 38% of total sales.

The biggest seller under the program was Toyota, with 19.4% of final sales.  GM and Ford had 17.6% and 14.4% respectively.

*An interesting side note: all of the ten most traded-in vehicles come from US companies.

10 Most Traded-In Vehicles under CARS

  1. Ford Explorer 4WD
  2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD
  3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
  4. Ford Explorer 2WD
  5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD
  6. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
  7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
  8. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
  9. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD
  10. Ford Windstar FWD Van

10 Most Purchased Vehicles under CARS

  1. Toyota Corolla
  2. Honda Civic
  3. Toyota Camry
  4. Ford Focus
  5. Hyundai Elantra
  6. Nissan Versa
  7. Toyota Prius
  8. Honda Accord
  9. Honda Fit
  10. Ford Escape FWD