Despite some well-publicized problems with the administration of last year’s so-called Cash for Clunkers program, the venture performed even better than anticipated, according to a new study that shows it brought significant incremental sales to a struggling U.S. automotive market.
In all, the Cash Allowance Rebate System, or CARS, directly generated 542,000 sales that would not have been made without the program, which offered qualifying buyers incentives of up to $4,500, reveals a new study by Maritz Automotive Research Group. In addition, about 250,000 “halo sales” were created, according to Maritz Vice President Dave Fish. Those were sales made to buyers who either didn’t qualify for the tax credits or who decided to purchase a vehicle that wan’t covered by CARS.
“As far as taxpayers are concerned,” said Fish, “from a return-on-investment standpoint, (the program) certainly met its goals” of both stimulating the automotive market and removing inefficient, polluting cars from the road.”