Saturday, September 12, 2009

Failed Cash for Clunkers Spurs More New Car Sales. I hope they don't run Health care like this.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the Wisconsin State Journal headline, "Clunkers program is factor in 41 percent boost in new vehicle sales in region"

And it looks like the program has put people in the buying mood.

"Even though Clunkers is over, it seems like (consumer) confidence for large purchases is continuing to increase, based on our showroom traffic," said Allen Foster, general manager of Smart Motors in Madison. New car and truck sales in Dane County were up 40.4 percent compared to last August, according to a report by Reg-Trak, The increase locally and across the country has been widely attributed to the Clunkers program, which ended Aug. 24. senior marketing manager for Madison's Zimbrick Motors, both said there were some reasons that new car purchases could remain healthy."There are indications that the program has got people thinking about cars again,"

Remeber this from an earlier blog: Debra Mitchell, consumer psychologist for the UW School of Business sees possible problems waiting in the wings after the program ends, like: 1- Buyers that are gone for good, or at least 5 or so years. 2- The possible "slump" that is on the way. 3- It will lead to a bad hangover for consumer confidence.

WKOW TV: Janesville Republican Paul Ryan (and Rep. James Sensenbrenner) voted against it, calling the program poorly designed and another burden on the national debt. "The premise of this policy remains deeply flawed."

Media Matters: Conservatives, led by an army of bloggers, announced months ago that the "Cash for Clunkers" program would be a disaster; that the government could never help spur car sales. Rather than acknowledge they were wrong, or better yet, just keep quiet, right-wing bloggers are now in pretzel mode trying to explain how the stimulus program was actually, you know, a failure. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will lead Republican opposition to the popular cash-for-clunkers program in an attempt to block additional funding when it comes up for consideration in the Senate.

Fox News: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (said), "I don't think Cash for Clunkers should be a label for that particular program, I think it should be a label for the whole entire administration." He later said, "Giving the Democrats control and responsibility for our money is like letting Michael Vick watch your dog for the weekend." Recently retired Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has traded in the vehicle you might expect him to own — a 1991 Chevrolet Suburban — for a brand-new Toyota Prius under the government's just-concluded Cash for Clunkers program ... the former Senate majority leader acknowledged ... "You don't see a lot of Republicans driving a Prius."

USA Today: The Democrat-driven Cash for Clunkers program appears to have been a bigger boon for blue states than red. Eight of the top 10 states taking advantage of the rebate program voted for Barack Obama in 2008, while seven of the bottom 10 backed Republican John McCain, according to a Gannett state-by-state analysis of rebates per licensed driver.

Perhaps a belief in the system of rebates to jumpstart the economy, and state economic conditions for consumers, played a major role:
Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, said, "I know in Tennessee, dealers were pulling back, whereas in Illinois, the dealers were all gung-ho."
Mike Dockendorf, general manager of St. Cloud Toyota, said Cash for Clunkers generated a lot of interest in Minnesota, His dealership has put in for about 80 rebates.
When state governments maintain a certain quality of living, and aren't racing to the bottom with cheap labor to attract new businesses, you can expect a certain outcome. And when you have low wages and benefits:
Bob DeBoer, general manager of Action Chrysler in Jackson, Miss., tells a different story. His dealership sold only 15 cars with the Cash for Clunkers incentive, and the state, as a whole, was second from the bottom, with rebate requests of just $6.46 per driver.
Without fully understanding his own states self imposed business friendly, but waged starved consumer policies, DeBoer ironically admits;
"I'm sure there are a lot of people who would have loved to trade in, but in Mississippi, income and credit right now are the worst I've seen."

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