SANTA MONICA, Calif. — October 28, 2009 — Edmunds.com, the premier resource for online automotive information, has determined that Cash for Clunkers cost taxpayers $24,000 per vehicle sold.
Nearly 690,000 vehicles were sold during the Cash for Clunkers program, officially known as CARS, but Edmunds.com analysts calculated that only 125,000 of the sales were incremental. The rest of the sales would have happened anyway, regardless of the existence of the program.
Ironically, the average transaction price for a new vehicle in August 2009 was only $26,915 minus an average cash rebate of $1,667.
"This analysis is valuable for two reasons," explained Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. "First, it can form the basis for a complete assessment of the program's impact and costs. Second—and more important—it can help us to understand the true state of auto sales and the economy. For example, October sales are up, but without Cash for Clunkers, sales would have been even better. This suggests that the industry's recovery is gaining momentum."
"Our research indicates that without the Cash for Clunkers program, many customers would not have traded in an old vehicle when making a new purchase," Edmunds.com Senior Analyst David Tompkins, PhD told AutoObserver.com. "That may give some credence to the environmental claims, but unfortunately the economic claims have been rendered quite weak."
To conduct the analysis, the Edmunds.com team of PhDs and statisticians examined the sales trend for luxury vehicles and others not included in Cash for Clunkers, and applied the historic relationship of those vehicles to total SAAR to make informed estimates. These estimates were independently verified through careful examination of sales patterns reflected by transaction data. Once the numbers were determined, Edmunds.com's analysts divided three billion dollars by 125,000 vehicles to arrive at the average $24,000 per vehicle.
Of course the pres the congress and their supporters are arguing that cash for clunkers was an enormous success and Edmunds was invaded by the GOP. But now the pres will give mega bucks to the smart grid for dumb Americans. How many dumasses will rid themselves of six TVs, three refrigerators, and their 2,000 watt hair dryer just because they have a smart meter that the utility company will install on their incoming electric line. Why don’t we just charge more for electricity, more for gasoline, more for natural gas and give the added money to folks who actually will help save the planet? Who are these people? They are children who need a real education and may not be as dumb as the generation of adults who bought SUVs, large houses miles from nowhere, and have to have six TVs and three refrigerators for their beer to watch TV. Let’s get real big brother does not need to watch an electric or gas meter spin, it needs more of your money. It should just admit that a $10 per million BTU energy tax is needed. We use 80 quadrillion BTUs of fossil fuel and doing the math the government can raise $800 billion a year right there to pay for real education for the future generation that will also need to be good at breathing carbon dioxide.