Fox News Hostile Over Cash For Clunkers

Posted: Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Posted by Chico Brisbane | Labels: , ,

Fox News weighed in on the "cash for clunkers" program today in what could only be described as blatently hostile. They have determined that the "Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS program is nothing more then another government hand-out.

The multi-facited program was designed to help the economy and the environment by spurring new car sales. Car owners can receive federal subsidies of up to $4,500 for trading in their old cars for new ones that achieve significantly higher gas mileage.

However, according to Fox News and thier "auto expert" Lauren Fox, she a fan of the program because those who already own a hybrid are excluded, those who already own a fuel efficient car are excluded, and if you own a high-end luxury vehicle you're excluded.

"I suggest instead that we give every single driver in the U.S. a credit or a $1000 dollar check towards a new car or car maintenance to cover a transmission or tires. That would have helped get better cars on the road. It would have helped the economy as well, rather then making it a restricted number of people because alot of people that where eligable became uneligable over the first few days of the opening of this cash for clunkers policy."

I'm not sure how she arrived at a 'Sara Plain' conclusion like that, but it was funny nevertheless. The program had two key inititaves of getting gas-guzzlers off the road and doing so by trading them in for a new fuel efficient vehicle. How giving every driver $1000 bucks to fix up their clunker with a new transmission or set of tires, helps the economy, the environment, or auto industry, is beyond me.

They went on to say that the timing of the progam couldn't have been better because it helped the dealers get those 2008 and 2009 models off the lot because the 2010 models are just around thye corner. Fox said that it was also good for the auto manufacturers as well, but that If you look at the cars they're buying, they're buying alot of luxury cars.

She said that there are alot of luxury cars under $45,000 - Such as BMW, Audi, and Lexus and that people are stepping up to nicer cars. Together, they wondered if this wasn't how we got here in the first place by buying more then we can afford.

"Yes, but this is a fact that when people who are down in the dumps, and many people are struggling economically, driving a nice car or a luxury car actually psychologically (and I know this because I've done segments on it) helps alot of people. This could potentially make luxury cars, let's say, more affordable for those famalies who could have never dreamed owning a BMW and why not? - My opiniom is that you are what you drive."

With the first initial budgit for the plan exhausted, it was enough to cover 250,000 new car purchases, which breaksdown to about 13 for every new car dealer in the country. According to Jeep.Com - The Jeep Patriot was a popular choice for those who took advantage of the rebate at a Jeep-Chrysler showroom.

"We’ve sold a very wide variety," he said Friday afternoon, saying that the Patriot was a popular choice because it gets up to 28 highway miles per gallon. Buyers came from all economic strata, he said, some just conservative sorts who like to keep a car for a long time, others with tighter finances using the program to "help them make something happen."

Gary Grubbs, marketing and advertising manager with Lawrence Hall in Abilene, said the program had enjoyed a "good run" at his dealership, whether or not it was extended. "If you figure we’ve had 15 to 20 people qualify, about twice that many have come to check it out," he said.

Grubbs said he thought that the program would probably perpetuate, with perhaps a few modifications.

"It’s been a significant success," he said. "I think there will be pressure on Congress to extend or increase the funding."

New money for the program would come from funds approved earlier in the year as part of an economic stimulus bill, The Associated Press reported Friday. Mike Dunnahoo of Star Dodge in Abilene, said that his dealership was doing Cash for Clunkers deals until the close of business Friday, then waiting for "solid news" to figure out where to go today.

As of Thursday night, the dealership had delivered 10 cars through the program with no pre-sales, Dunnahoo said.

"We didn’t want to have to reel people back in or give them false hopes," he said. He estimated another five qualifying deals had occurred Friday afternoon.
Dunnahoo described the customers taking advantage of the program as "good, creditworthy, thrifty people who know it’s a good time and a good deal. ... This is keeping people employed at dealerships, and that’s a good thing for all of us."

That said, he admits he didn’t get a lot of sleep Thursday night after worries about the program’s future emerged. He said the dealership would probably start a list of people interested in Cash for Clunkers unless enough details about its fate were clarified today.