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Unhinged: Anybody Talking Cash For Clunkers 2 Needs To Be Quarantined Indefinetly


Unhinged: Anybody Talking Cash For Clunkers 2 Needs To Be Quarantined Indefinetly

Just hearing the words “cash for clunkers” sets my temper alight. The Car Allowance Rebate System, as it was properly known, was a scrappage deal that was all the rage in 2009. In simple terms, if you had a vehicle that was less that 25 years old on the day you traded in drivable condition, and were ready to buy a new car, you could bring your old vehicle in for a purchase or five-year minimum lease of a new vehicle under $45,000 that could get at least 22 miles per gallon. You would get a $4,500 rebate plus the scrap value of the vehicle you sent to the gallows. In return, car dealerships rented giant dumpsters and broke out the brightly-colored paint markers to proudly announce that they were doing their part by taking these “clunkers” and sending them on to their death. Made me want to puke. If you want an in-depth look at what C4C actually did and didn’t do, you can check out this story that links to an Regular Car Reviews’ analysis of the program.

With vehicle sales falling off of the cliff faster than Wile E. Coyote holding a boulder thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers are looking at anything that might be a way to bail money out of the sinking ship. FCA, for example, is offering up what they are calling “Drive Forward”, which offers up an “online retail experience”, 0% financing for 84 months and no payments for 90 days on certain 2019 and 2020 models of vehicles. But in a report by Automotive News, Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing and sales, seems to be toying with the idea of pushing the government towards a repeat of the C.A.R.S. program. “Cash for clunkers was very effective at that time. It would be nice to think we could have something equally as effective for 2020 when we get out of this because it was a great program.”

No, LaNeve, it wasn’t. And if anything, any kind of stimulus program will be a temporary band-aid that isn’t going to help people who have been out of work, stuck at home, and frayed to their wits’ end. Not that 2020 was a banner sales year before the virus hit, but unless you were discussing replacing the family car already and just decide to strike while the gettin’s good right now, why would you buy? After this is all said and done I wouldn’t be surprised if this entire year winds up as a sales write-off. Screw it, we’ll try again in 2021. Besides, why would I be in a hurry to buy something brand-new when I don’t want to spend a lot of money, and don’t want the majority of what brands are selling right now? What would I rather do: spend about $44,000 on a Mustang GT, $46,000 on a Dodge Charger 392, or $36,500 for a properly-optioned Chevrolet Silverado, or spend that kind of money between two Fox body Mustangs, the Angry Grandpa Chrysler and my wife’s Silverado SS and still come out with cash left over?

Cash for clunkers does not need to make a return. A sellable vehicle that is more useful car and less iPod would be a hell of a step forward. This whole “If they throw away their old car, they’ll buy a new one!” mentality needs to be thrown into that huge dumpster out front. But that is probably just me, dreaming again.


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11 thoughts on “Unhinged: Anybody Talking Cash For Clunkers 2 Needs To Be Quarantined Indefinetly

  1. Turbo Regal

    One of the stupidest, waste of taxpayer money schemes ever.

    Use tax payer dollars to incentivize new car purchases, taking sales that would have occurred during the year and shove them into the months of the program.

    Take the trade ins and destroy them, raising used car prices and hurting poor people who can no longer afford them in the process.

  2. Robert

    I remember a local yard that had a lot of the cars that got turned in for that. It was very sad to see some really nice stuff getting crushed and there was plenty of cars worth more than the “rebate” getting turned in and destroyed.

  3. Ronnieroadster

    It was a great idea i was happy to get a ton of money for my tired old V-6 powered Ford T- Bird we replaced it with a brand new Chrysler Sebering thats still going strong today. At the moment were waiting for a replacement a shiny new Challenger. but the assembly line is presently shut down. The trade in price for the Sebering will continue to add to the value of the program.

  4. Dennis L Delfosse

    The worst pandemic in our lifetimes, so many people dying everyday. And you\’re worried about this shit? WTF is wrong with you?
    Oh, by the way, that program, along with others, worked to help rescue an economy that was headed for another Great Depression. Time to remove your head from your ass.

    1. Stickman

      Humans are the worse pandemic on this earth… Has been going for 200k years and with a 2.1 replacement rate per year.

      Stop with the fear of a pandemic. Everyone is freaking out over seeing that humans aren’t as powerful as mother nature, shocker.

      Lifetime? Watch out, worse one in the past 80 yrs is nothing to write home about. 37k people die and 3 million are injured each year by car accidents in the US but no one panics about that or stops driving. Why? Because it is not new. Humans are weak, get over it. I don’t like to see people become sick or die but welcome to the world of life. Humans are a blip in the timeframe of this earth, so were all the previous species.

      Everyone does well with visuals, there have been many pandemics and there will be more to come: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of-pandemics-deadliest/

  5. JD

    Cash for clunkers did not “rescue the economy”. ‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️ At best it gave the auto industry a temporary artificial shot in the arm so they could continue building a low quality product that didn’t sell very well. The economy just did what it would have done on its own over time anyway. Ford didn’t take the government hand out, they recovered faster than GM and Chrysler and are still doing better today.

    And just for the record this is a site for car enthusiasts dedicated to discussing automotive related topics. If you don’t care about old cars and you don’t want to read articles about automotive related topics then why would you come here? I’m sure Bryan cares about people dying but the whole point of an automotive related website is to post automotive related content and to discuss automotive related news.

    Oh and just one more side note… it isn’t the “worst pandemic in our lifetime” it’s the (only) pandemic in our lifetime.

    1. Stickman

      I was born in 87 and there have been five pandemic in my lifetime, six if including HIV. SARS, MERS, EBOLA, Swine and now Covid. Covid has been the fastest spreading and explosive cases.

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