Cash For Clunkers Program Shows Interesting Data

By Brendan Moore


cars-programYou might be curious about which vehicles are being purchased by customers under the “Cash For Clunkers” program, as we were.

Now that break-out is here, courtesy of the federal government.

The U.S. Transportation Department has slaked that thirst for information by releasing a list of the top vehicles purchased and the top vehicles traded in through the program so far.

Top 10 vehicles retailed under the Cash-For-Clunkers program, according to the U.S. Transportation Department:

(1) Ford Focus
(2) Toyota Corolla
(3) Honda Civic
(4) Toyota Prius
(5) Toyota Camry
(6) Ford Escape
(7) Hyundai Elantra
(8) Dodge Caliber
(9) Honda Fit
(10) Chevrolet Cobalt

Top-10 trade-ins under the Cash-For-Clunkers Program:

(1) Ford Explorer 4-wheel drive
(2) Ford F-150 pickup 2-wheel drive
(3) Jeep Grand Cherokee 4-wheel drive
(4) Jeep Cherokee 4-wheel drive
(5) Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2-wheel drive
(6) Chevrolet Blazer 4-wheel drive
(7) Ford Explorer 2-wheel drive
(8) Ford F-150 pickup 4-wheel drive
(9) Chevrolet C1500 pickup 2-wheel drive
(10) Ford Windstar minivan 4-wheel drive

As you can see, the trade-in list is populated with trucks, SUVs and minivans, and the list of cars purchased is mainly populated with economy cars. There is a small SUV on the “purchased” list; the Ford Escape, but it should be noted that the Escape is available in a hybrid version that gets very good fuel economy, although the Escape sales are not broken out by gas/hybrid version.

A similar situation exists with the Toyota Camry; a car that is available with a gasoline V6, a gasoline four-cylinder and a hybrid powerplant. There is no break-out for which mode of power available in the Camry sold the most units under “Cash For Clunkers”.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at

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  1. I wonder how the 4-cylinder Malibu/Aura is doing under this program? I wonder if there are enough available to sell, even. And I’m kind of surprised the Accord isn’t in this Top Ten, especially considering Honda sells a lot of 4-cylinder Accords.

  2. Also, no Aveo? It doesn’t cost much, gets very good fuel economy, etc.

  3. Imagen if Ford all reddy had the new Focus and the new Fiessta on the Ford lot

  4. I guess the Accord might be close but no cigar (around 11 or 13th place) or more and more folks hated to see the Accord being almost as full-size like the Mercury Grand Marquis.

    And some old-school Toyota fans don’t seem to like the Toyota Clunker ad (who show a classic Land Cruiser being crushed) and reactions from some posters on the followign blogs

  5. Now that the extra money was approved tonight, it’s going to be a question of who has the inventory left to sell. All the dealers are low on stock that people want, the small cars. My local Ford dealer is out of Focus/Fusion and someone told me the Toyota dealer here is out of a couple of models, too.

  6. To me it’s stunning that the Nissan Versa and the Nissan Sentra didn’t make the top ten.

  7. The Escape is NOT an SUV other than in styling. It is pretty much the classic definition of a crossover, i.e. high ride height, unibody construction, Front Wheel Drive. Most folks that don’t actually take their Explorer off road would be just as well served by an Escape.

    Actually what surprises me is that the F-150 is not on the (buy) list. It should be pretty easy to find an F-150 that gets 2mpg better than an old(er) one.

  8. I would say the Escape is a sport-cute instead of an SUV. It’s like the RAV4 instead of a Jeep Wrangler.

    Wonder where the Prius is on this list? Plenty of inventory of that hybrid available, from what I can see.

  9. Killjoy, you mean you wonder where it is in terms of supply? Cause obviously it’s on th list.

    I wonder how many Rangers can possibly be left? There is no way there were many on the ground to start with.

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