The Korean automaker Hyundai clearly benefitted from U.S. taxpayer cash in August as its sales increased 47% from the year before.
Perhaps more significant is the movement of the Elantra model into the Top Ten U.S. seller list for the first time by jumping up seven places. The compact, fuel efficient car is no stripper either. Asking prices range from $15,000 to $20,000, and 21,000 of them were delivered during the month, twice the number of the comparable period in 2008.
Though its engine still uses a cast iron block and Elantra isn‘t the most sophisticated or quiet small car, the Korean import has an EPA rating of 25 city and 33 highway and has been supported by clever marketing campaigns all year long. Eight of the ten vehicles that saw the most Clunker sales were from offshore brands.
The other vehicles on the Top Ten list are the usual best sellers, although the list shuffled a bit to reflect the strong preference for cars by the many shoppers who were converted into buyers. It didn’t help that two of the strong players in the truck business, General Motors and Chrysler, were newly emerged from bankruptcy and with their plants either shut down or just coming back up as the sales frenzy began.