Cash for Clunkers by the Numbers
Nicolas Loris /
Ken Belson of the New York Times provides some interesting data points on the cash for clunkers program:
The “cash for clunkers” program introduced last week appears to have been a success, at least based on the tens of thousands of consumers who streamed into their local car dealers to swap their beaters for new, more fuel-efficient replacements.
But there is more to the numbers than the headlines. According to a survey of car dealerships and 2,200 consumers by CNW Research, the average fuel economy of vehicles traded in last week was 16.3 miles per than the 18 m.p.g. needed to qualify for a government rebate of $3,500.
The relatively small differential suggests that consumers have not been turning in the oldest, dirtiest and least fuel-efficient cars, but instead have been getting rid of their second and third cars, according to Art Spinella, who ran the survey.
“These are third cars used for kids in school,” Mr. Spinella said. (more…)