Town Square

"Cash For Clunkers" Car Buying

Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Aug 8, 2009

I fervently hope that this program is having the purported positive impact on car sales and the general economy that led Congress to add $2 billion before they all went home to be shouted at by people around the health care matter.

I am skeptical that it is more than a short term program. If it helps for the next few weeks or months, great. But the real test is how the restructuring of GM and Chrysler will pan out for these very troubled companies.

The cynic in me notes that one of the guys who lost out at the GE CEO job, Bob Nardelli, subsequently flamed out at Home Depot and then at Chrysler. Darwin applies to people, companies, and to species.

On a more personal note, I have a lady friend in San Franscisco who needs to get a new car. She told me that getting her clunker qualified for the program was very confusing, and did not work in her case, as best as she could tell.

But, she also perceived that she was treated a certain way as a woman by herself trying to get another car. She told me that it was like there was a script for a person who fit her profile.

So here are my questions:

Are GM and Fiat/Chrsyler, shed of the obligations that made them uncompetitive with the likes of Honda and Toyota, able to compete and win in the marketplace?

Why is it that a woman trying to buy a car is poorly treated?


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 9, 2009 at 4:12 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

"Cash for clunkers" is like making the payment on your Visa with your Master Card, but, yes, I ran my clunker through one of the many web sites to see what I could do with it. My 2003 KIA is safe for a while.
As for women buying cars, Saturn was one company that got away from the traditional song and dance "Let me check with the manager and see whether I can get him to go along...". One tactic is to respond "No, let me talk to him, I don't deal with people who lack the authority to deal." Perhaps someone should publish a guide for first time shoppers. Just remember it is your money, you are doing them a favor.

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Posted by R Wray
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 9, 2009 at 9:58 am

It's like making a payment on the car buyer's Visa with your Master Card.

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Posted by anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 9, 2009 at 7:01 pm

As usual real information that would help us understand the efficacy of this program is hard or impossible to get at or trust. I would like to know what the prices these cars are being sold at compared to non-cash-for-clunkers cars. I wonder if car dealers are just sucking up the profit that we the people are paying for and raising the prices on these cars?

What is the point of having market incentives when for example the price of a hybrid car is higher than the cost of the gas you save?

The logic of the market and the invisible hand are just BS to sell us on a system that has become ridiculously corrupt and supportive of a status quo that has led us to the situation we are in now.