Make us your home page
Instagram

'Cash for clunkers' trade-ins boost U.S. auto sales in July

The $1 billion "cash for clunkers" program gave automakers, led by Ford Motor Co., a huge sales boost in July. Now the question is whether funding for the incentive will continue.

Thanks to a wave of trade-ins, Ford in July posted its first monthly sales increase in more than a year and a half.

The program, which offers rebates of as much as $4,500 to consumers who trade in older autos for new vehicles that meet certain fuel economy standards, has been hugely popular.

Other automakers also appeared to benefit from the trade-in stimulus, if not to the same degree. Honda said its sales declined 17 percent in July, a marked improvement over previous months. Toyota's sales declined 11 percent in July, compared with a 34 percent decline for the first seven months of the year, while General Motors had a 19 percent decline, far better than its 38 percent decline year-to-date. Chrysler posted similar improvements, with sales down just 9 percent on the month.

Early analysis of the program found consumers opting for vehicles that deliver higher mileage, with a 15.8 mpg average fuel economy rating for trade-ins, compared with an average of 25.4 mpg for the new cars being purchased.

For July, Ford sold 158,838 cars and light trucks, a 2 percent increase in new vehicle sales that broke a streak of 19 monthly declines. GM, emerging from bankruptcy last month, sold 189,443 vehicles, while Chrysler sold 89,900.

Michael DiGiovanni, GM's lead sales analyst, said the program added about 115,000 sales to the market, and on an annual basis could bump up U.S. sales by more than 1 million units. "Clearly, this has been a big boost to the economy," he said.

Running

on empty?

The White House says the Senate must approve $2 billion without delay for the "cash for clunkers" program or the big rebates for car buyers could end by Friday. The House approved the funding Friday. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs estimated the additional $2 billion would keep incentives available to consumers through September.

'Cash for clunkers' trade-ins boost U.S. auto sales in July 08/03/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 3, 2009 8:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Los Angeles Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]