What Did ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Say About Michigan?

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    Gathered from the close to 680,000 vehicles sold during the “Cash for Clunkers” program, Michigan is loyal to the Big Three, but the rest of the nation prefers a foreign nameplate.

    This past summer, the $3 billion federally funded program, properly known as Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), spurred a month-long vehicle consumption frenzy with $3500 and $4500 rebate offers that prompted consumers to trade in their gas guzzler for  a more fuel-efficient car or truck.

    According to the Detroit Free Press, 81.1 percent of Michigan residents traded their domestic nameplates for another domestic car or truck. However, only 42.8 percent of national consumers upgraded to another Big Three vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

    Based on data complied by CARS.gov, the top five domestic trade-ins were the Ford Explorer 4WD, Ford F-150 Pickup 2WD, Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD, Ford Explorer 2WD and Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD.

    And while only 19 percent of Michigan residents traded in a vehicle from a Big Three manufacturer for a foreign car, more than 57 percent of Americans traded in a domestic vehicle for an import.

    The nation’s trend towards the domestic brand was further incapacitated with only 14.3 percent of national consumers trading in their import for a Big Three nameplate, while 47 percent of Michigan consumers traded in their import for a domestic brand.

    According to CARS.gov data, the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Ford Focus FWD and the Hyundai Elantra were the top five vehicles purchased after trade-in.

    But despite the nation’s preference for imports, the NHTSA reported that Ford and GM announced productivity increase during the third and fourth quarters, 14.4 percent and 17.6 percent respectively in comparison to the frontrunner, Toyota, whose productivity went up 19.4 percent.


    Why do you think Americans generally preferred imports over the domestic brands?


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