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 Post subject: Cash for clunkers DOA
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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Location: Midwest, USA
Our local news is reporting that the cash for clunkers program has been suspended because it has already run out of money after six days, and that the program is now dead.

Perhaps that nostalgic, or near nostalgic car has been saved from the crusher. We can all celebrate the under funding of this program, and hope that many cars have averted a final and fruitless end as a result of such an ill conceived program.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:22 pm 
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Well, it doesn't really effect any older Japanese cars, so I was never worried. :P

But I'll be glad to see it end. Unfortunately our taxes will be paying for it, and many other ill-conceived programs for a long time to come. :x


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:30 am 
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now thats a good news.. :tu:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:49 am 

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:D So glad it did not even last a week.!!! :tu: :mrgreen:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:45 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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Location: Midwest, USA
datsunfreak wrote:
Well, it doesn't really effect any older Japanese cars, so I was never worried.


There were several late 80's and early 90's turbo coupes on the list.

But the news story Wednesday was that the fueleconomy.gov website had been edited and the ratings on all vehicles raised by 1-4 MPG. One car shopper went in to the dealership on Monday and made arrangements to buy a car and turn in his truck, he went back on Tuesday and his clunker had been taken off the list!
Now our local dealerships are all requiring buyers to sign contracts guaranteeing that they will purchase their clunker back from the dealership if the clunker program refuses it or the program falls through.

I checked a couple cars I noticed on the list previously, and they have all jumped from 18 MPG to 20-22 MPG.
Merry Christmas, everyone's clunker is now burning less gas, the government website says so! With the stroke of a computer keyboard, they reduced our oil consumption by ten percent!

I wanted to check some of the other turbo coupes, but the website went down at 9 AM!


It doesn't surprise me that the GM dealerships got their paperwork for the clunker program when the Japanese brand dealerships did not. They couldn't write into the law requiring that you buy only an American car, but they could make it impossible to buy anything but an American car by denying participation from non-American brand dealerships.
What is the saying about the true power in a democracy is in the hands of the one counting the votes...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:11 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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Location: Midwest, USA
This is interesting.

The clunker program is supposed to have a budget of 1 billion dollars ($1,000,000,000).

The dealership owner interviewed by local news said "We don't know what is going to happen when the program ends, there are 20,000 dealers nation wide...". The implied problem being that they will have taken sales contracts on many thousands of vehicles that will not have been processed when they discover the money is gone.

But just looking at the budget, number of dealerships, and amount given per car, the problem becomes obvious:
($1,000,000,000 budget) divided by (20,000 dealerships) divided by ($4,000 average rebate) equals 12 1/2 cars per dealership !

That is assuming the program costs zero dollars to run and administrate. And there is no misappropriation of funds.

The expected number of vehicles sold as a result of this program is 250,000. That is the number of annual sales expected for a single model of vehicle that sells reasonably well, and there are how many different models on the market right now? US News says annual car sales for the last three years were 13-17 million (13,000,000-17,000,000). So the clunkers program would account for less than two percent of annual sales!

The program appears to have generated more complaints than car sales. Hurray!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:36 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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Location: Midwest, USA
JT191 wrote:
I wanted to check some of the other turbo coupes, but the website went down at 9 AM!


Uncle Sam's website is up now, but running painfully slowly.

So far as I can tell, all the Mitsubishi Starions, Toyota Celica Supra, Toyota Supra Turbo, Nissan 300Z/ZX Turbos, RX-7 Turbos, and earlier RX-7 Non-turbos are still rated at 18 MPG or lower, and qualify for the clunker program. So, everything but the base models of the most desirable, or at least most powerful, Japanese GT cars from 1984 through 1989.

Drew_TSi_Si_STi wrote:
We'll it pretty much guarantees that it will never happen again.


They rushed through 2 Billion more dollars this morning!

Get ready for another 14.6 days of the clunker program, and they will account for 5.76% of this year's car sales.

Does the ability to operate a calculator disqualify a person from being an elected official?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:17 pm 
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Definitely some good news.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Listening to the news today, the House passed another bill for $2 Billion MORE to be allocated for C4C. And everyone is declaring it a rousing success. I even heard a few people talking about how they should extend the bill to, and I quote, "real clunkers, cars of the 1970s".

I want to punch people. I'm sending one of those assclowns an e-mail shortly.

And now the truth is starting to shine through, as it always does- this isn't a green thing, this is an automaker booster (bug duh to us, I'm shocked how many people really believed this was for the environment). Except you can buy cars from any automaker, and so it's not helping the US ones as much as it potentially could.

I did see a pretty clean AWD manual trans Eagle Talon TSI, pop up headlight car, get turned in on a new Mini. :shake:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:18 pm 
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Drew_TSi_Si_STi wrote:
Like I've said before though, anybody crazy enough to still be daily driving one of those cars is not going to trade it in all of a sudden. The majority of vehicles traded in is going to be older american crap cans from the mid 80s to 90s. Most cars that deserved to be scrapped a long time ago. I'm not going to shed a tear if someone trades in their 96 Chevy Blazer.


It's still a good source of parts for someone else going to total waste, and that's the real shame, and it's harming the environment. :td: Another dealer got a mid '90s 4x4 manual trans Toyota truck in the program as well.

Think it's ok because it doesn't harm you yet? Give it time, they'll find a way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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Location: Midwest, USA
Drew_TSi_Si_STi wrote:
Like I've said before though, anybody crazy enough to still be daily driving one of those cars is not going to trade it in all of a sudden.


Why can't they put healthcare together this fast?


The qualification for the program isn't that it be a daily driver car, or even daily driveable. It requires it be licensed, insured, and "driveable".
We have four year plates in our state, a lot can happen between the date that the plates are renewed, and the time they come up for renewal, three years and eleven months later. We have to have plates to park a car outside, even on private property. And we have to have insurance to have plates. I see a lot of cars that don't move from the spot they are parked in, but they have plates, and because they have plates, they must have insurance.
And "driveable" is subjective. We aren't talking about a car that you can get in and drive from coast to coast and back without any problems. The name of the program has "clunkers" in it. We're talking about the car in front of you in traffic, that is belching out smoke, has rust holes larger than the windows, and is leaving a trail of parts like bread crumbs behind it. The is "driveable" as in "I can't believe they let that guy loose on the road in that thing".

But these are the cars that we buy for a couple hundred dollars as a parts car, or as a rebuild project, or as a source of parts at the junk yard.

Maybe I'm a little more sensitive to this than others, because this is a list of the items I can no longer obtain from the dealership for my 90's cars:
headlights, fog lights, fenders, grilles, wiring harnesses, engine mounts, suspension arms, sway bars and sway bar hardware, egr valves, timing belt pulleys, most interior and trim panels, intake and exhaust valves, crankshafts, pistons, ABS sensors, unibody floor panels, rear quarter panels, rocker panels, any interior trim panels...

To me, any single junk car is a precious source of just about anything I need to rebuild what I have. And this must be an odd occasion, because Stationwagonguy seems to understand this point and we are in agreement on this.

The program specified that the cars turned in were to be crushed and melted, and no parts reused.
That said, it is not clear that this is actually going to happen.
This afternoon, a local radio program interviewed a Honda dealer salesman, who complained that they had to do 11 forms for each car turned in (boo hoo, you sold a car, be happy for that). The next question was what happened to the cars that were turned in, and he responded saying "They go to local junk yards. We have instructions on some kind of liquid that we pour into the engine to make it unusable..."
If they are going to junk yards, they get put into the yard and stripped for parts, but be careful of engines from now on.

The logic of "no one will turn in a car worth anything" assumes people are smart, make good decisions, and don't screw themselves. That's giving the average person a lot of credit they don't deserve.
(Think about this, no matter who you voted for for president, 49% of the population or more voted for the other guy. Roughly half of the people you deal with on a daily basis weren't smart enough to vote for the same person you voted for. Sort of makes a person wonder about the intelligence of most people...)
These are people who compare the blue book value to the cost of the repair, and decide not to fix what they have, but to go out and spend $25,000+ on something new that they will be spending the same amount of money to fix by the time they have it paid off. These aren't people who appreciate an older car, these are people who sell an older car to one of us so we can fix what they couldn't and enjoy driving what they couldn't fix.
Remember those direct injection V6 engines from the SUVs that would make such wonderful road rocket engine transplants into little cars? They sell for $3,000-3,700 in salvage yards. These cars are worth more as parts, than as clunker program credit.

Also, like Stationwagonguy hinted at, there has to be some camaraderie across different areas of the auto world. I may not like jacked up pickup trucks, but I know if they start making laws against jacked up pickup trucks, they are just one step away from telling me that I can't use my coilovers on my car, and I don't want that to happen, so I don't want them messing with the pickup trucks just as much as I don't want them messing with me.


Health care fast? A health care program that is funded for six days? Sorry, I plan on living past the seventh day, and this guy can't put together a program that survives a full week.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:04 pm 
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JT191 wrote:
Health care fast? A health care program that is funded for six days? Sorry, I plan on living past the seventh day, and this guy can't put together a program that survives a full week.


Took the words right out of my mouth. As quickly as this abortion failed, why would you be so eager for state-run health care?!? :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:12 pm
Posts: 124
Location: FL's east coast
Went by the local dealership's C4C yard today.
Luckily there wern't any JNC's, but there was a surprisingly clean mid to late 80's Mercedes Sl convertible (aren't these worth something?!) and a late 80's Volvo 240 wagon :evil: :evil:

It makes me sad to see these cars sitting on the lot with "Cars clunker" written in the window, wishing to be driven. :cry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:05 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
Posts: 393
Location: Midwest, USA
The details of the program continue to reveal it is much different than they had claimed.

Dealerships were arranging for sales before the program was finalized, and many of these sales have been turned down, leaving unhappy car buyers.

It takes dealers several days to gather all the required documentation to put together a deal. Meanwhile, they initiate more and more sales. The customer expects it is a done deal, but their clunker may be refused or the program may run out of money long before the paperwork is processed.

The website used by the dealers to process the information keeps crashing.

There are sales managers and salesmen claiming they have over 80 sales with clunkers and more pending (Burlington). Remember, the original 1 billion dollars was supposed to be 13 (12.5) clunker transactions per dealership. The 2 billion dollar extension is not a law yet, it has passed only one legislative body and still has to pass the other, and be signed into law. With a total of 3 billion dollars, they will have enough money only to cover 38 clunker transactions per dealership. The dealerships are selling as if they expect the program to be inexhaustible and that more funding will be poured in to cover everything they do. But they are on the hook for everything they process over what the program will pay for. The dealerships' response is to go back tot he customer and demand the $3,500-4,500 from the customer. This will lead to some interesting lawsuits.
Dealerships like the Burlington example are already looking at a $168,000
loss! And they are still taking in more clunkers!

The cars are no longer to be crushed. They pour a silica and water solution into the oil fill cap in the valve cover, then run the engine until it seizes. So the cars cars are not actually crushed, the engines are just destroyed and the rest of the car goes to the junk yard to be stripped for parts.
We all know about wrecked cars put back together poorly by taking a front end damage car and a rear end damage car, cutting each in half, and welding the two halves together to make a whole. And we all know about the flood damaged cars, dried out and then sold as undamaged.
How many seized clunkers will simply receive a new engine and be put back onto the street with a salvage title?

And what happens when the engine in the clunker is destroyed before the paperwork is denied? The dealership wants the $3,500-4,500 from the customer, and the customer's turned in clunker has been destroyed already. Back to that really juicy lawsuits.


The health care battle was supposed to be the Waterloo for this administration. We may not get that far before the house of cards falls on the clunker program. They've already spent the additional 2 billion dollars, and are now working on another 3 billion dollars they will have to rush through in two weeks. This fiasco promises to leave unhappy car buyers and bankrupted dealerships in its wake across the country.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Seeing this video really pissed me off .... Seems like there's a million better uses for these cars than having rednecks rev the crap out of it and almost catch the thing on fire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waj2KrKYTZo


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:42 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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Location: Midwest, USA
gtxtom wrote:
Seeing this video really pissed me off .... Seems like there's a million better uses for these cars than having rednecks rev the crap out of it and almost catch the thing on fire.


This seems to be the most popular new subcategory of videos on the internet. There are literally thousands, probably shot by salesmen at the dealerships taking in 2-3+ times their quota of clunkers.

Anyone with any affection for their car, anyone who has a name for their car or calls their car "him" or "her", or anyone familiar enough with Japanese culture and Shinto enough to know that there is a belief that even inanimate things have a spirit, should be offended by this type of thing.

These must appeal to the same group of people who like to watch idiots playing tug-of-war with pickup trucks or crashing cars on some idiots farm. Really makes you wonder about the intelligence of the general population and if most people should be required to have professional supervision on a 24 hour basis.

I would guesstimate that if they ended the program last Friday and refused any new transactions, it would take 6 billion dollars total to bail out all the dealerships. If they declare they run out of the 2 billion dollar infusion after 14 more days of operation, the entire program will probably cost us 18 billion dollars once they actually take the time to use a calculator and add up the numbers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:21 pm 
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JT191 wrote:
The details of the program continue to reveal it is much different than they had claimed.

The cars are no longer to be crushed.... So the cars cars are not actually crushed, the engines are just destroyed and the rest of the car goes to the junk yard to be stripped for parts.


I'll tell you a secret. They were never going to get crushed. :wink:

I have a good friend who works for a recycling company that had a deal in place from the very beginning to "dispose" of the cars. 8)

That whole "crushing cars" thing was just something said to placate the environmentalist crowd.

Quote:
We all know about wrecked cars put back together poorly...
How many seized clunkers will simply receive a new engine and be put back onto the street with a salvage title?


FWIW, they claim (part of the aforementioned deal) the cars will not be sold at auction (where "rebuilders" get them) and transferable titles will not be given out to the facilities that dispose of them.

But at this point, it's wise not to trust anything they say.

Besides, what's so bad about these cars being back out on the road with new engines? They're on the road now. :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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Location: Midwest, USA
Our local news has reported that a survey of 93 local dealers report a total of $10 Million dollars unpaid by the Cash for Clunkers program on cars taken in for the program.
Only $524,000 has been paid to the dealerships.

This is not a large city, and we are not considered a high density population area.

Our local dealers are pulling out of the program, or, they are no longer accepting clunkers in their sales transactions.

I'll go back to the original numbers:
20,000 dealerships in the system.

If the local example were extrapolated over the total number of dealers:
10 million dollars owed divided by 93 dealers locally times 20,000 dealers nationwide equals:
I'm coming up with 2.15 Billion dollars not paid out for cars that have been accepted in the program.

If the local dealerships monies actually received were extrapolated out to the total number of dealers:
$524,000 paid divided by 93 dealers locally times 20,000 dealers nationwide equals:
$112,7 Million.

So the total for cars paid out and owed for is $2.27 Billion. The total budget is $3 Billion. This program was supposed to last through the end of September... That last $730 Million better last for the next six weeks...

Does anyone in Washington own a calculator? Is a total lack of basic mathematical skills a prerequisite of being a lawmaker? I'm terrible at math, why haven't I been elected to a nice, cushy government job?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:54 pm 
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JT191 wrote:
Does anyone in Washington own a calculator? Is a total lack of basic mathematical skills a prerequisite of being a lawmaker?


To (very) roughly paraphrase President Obama, the government can't run out of money since they are the ones who print it.

:P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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Location: Midwest, USA
July 27: The program starts with a $1 Billion budget. The plan is that the program last through September.
July 30: The program runs out of money.
August 3: They throw another $2 Billion into the program. Now it will certainly last through September. Simple math: if the first billion dollars lasted less than a week, 2 billion more dollars will last 12 or 13 more days.
August 18: Dealerships stop participating in the program fearing they will not get paid, because most dealerships are already owed half a million dollars.
August 20: The program official end date is set for Monday, August 24, at 5 PM.

August 25: Someone does the math, and finds out that there have been more than $6 Billion in rebates issued by car dealerships.
August 27: Another $4 Billion is thrown at the program to cover the open ended promise to the auto dealers, because no one had the forethought to put a cap or quota on the number of transactions each dealer could make under the program.
September 30: Dealership sales fall to zero. All those cars produced by the manufacturers, motivated by the program, are stacking up on the lots again. Time to start "Clunkers Part 2; Son of Clunker".


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