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Cash for Clunkers has been an equal opportunity incentive


When the government’s cash for clunkers program kicked off in late July, the early word was that it was helping foreign carmakers more than giving a sales boost to Detroit. That stands to reason. Japanese and Korean carmakers have a better image when it comes to selling efficient cars. So one would think that the foreign makes would get a bigger piece of the 184,304 cars sold through the program using the government’s $775.2 million as of today.

But as it turns out, that wasn’t the case. The percentage of consumers buying cars using clunker cash pretty closely matched their market share for the year. About 45% of the buyers chose an American car or truck. Detroit’s market share year-to-date is 44%. General Motors got 18.7 % of the buyers, and its market share is 19.5% this year. Ford, which reportedly got a massive windfall of buyers through the clunker program, got 16% of the buyers, up just half a percentage point over its year-to-date share. Ford did well, but its big victory is a big exaggerated. Chrysler got 10.6% of the buyers, one point more than its share. But the company offered aggressive deals on top of the clunker cash to woo consumers.

Toyota has loved the program, getting 17.9% of buyers. That’s up over its 16.3% year-to-date share. Hyundai also had quite a bonanza. But it was quite the foreign-car selling spree that some suggested. Here’s every company’s share of clunker sales to date:

General Motors 18.7%

Toyota 17.9%

Ford 16.0%

Honda 11.6%

Chrysler 10.6%

Nissan 7.0%

Hyundai 6.6%

Kia 3.8%

Mazda 2.3%

Subaru 2.2%

Volkswagen 1.9%

Suzuki 0.4%

MINI 0.3%

Mitsubishi 0.3%

Smart 0.2%

Volvo 0.1%

All Other 0.1%

See. It tracked with the car market pretty closely.


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