Japanese, Koreans give three cheers for 'Cash for Clunkers'

Rick Moran
File this one under "Predictable Unintended Consequences..."

John Crawley of Reuters reports on which car companies benefited most from the cash for clunkers program:

Japanese and South Korean automakers registered the biggest market share gains in the U.S. government's "cash for clunkers" program that ended this week with bankruptcy related inventory shortages hurting General Motors Co GM.UL and Chrysler.Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T), Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T), Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) capitalized on the program's goal of pushing consumers away from gas guzzling sport utilities and pickups, to more efficient cars and trucks, preliminary sales figures showed on Wednesday.

Overseas manufacturers dominate in car sales, while U.S. companies have been stronger in the light truck segment. Cars outsold trucks 2-1 under the "clunker" initiative.

Ford Motor Co (F.N) was the only domestic manufacturer to hold its own in market share compared with its performance so far this year, while GM slipped and Chrysler stumbled noticeably.

GM spokesman Greg Martin said the company, which slowed production significantly during the spring and its early summer bankruptcy, recorded brisk sales of Malibu, Cobalt and other car models in the first weeks of the program.

"We were running thin going into the summer to begin with and, as the program went on, inventory levels play(ed) a part," Martin said.

Ford was the only domestic manufacturer with top-selling models in the "clunkers" program.

OK. To sum up, a US government program to boost US auto companies ended up helping their competitors. The generosity of the US towards its friends is very touching, isn't it?

And is it coincidence, or a sign of something more profound, that Ford was the only US domestic  car company with top selling models in the program?

GM and Chrysler, are currently under the management of the United States government. Ford is not. Does this reveal something about the competence with which those companies are being managed?

I'd say that's a great big "yes."


File this one under "Predictable Unintended Consequences..."

John Crawley of Reuters reports on which car companies benefited most from the cash for clunkers program:

Japanese and South Korean automakers registered the biggest market share gains in the U.S. government's "cash for clunkers" program that ended this week with bankruptcy related inventory shortages hurting General Motors Co GM.UL and Chrysler.

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T), Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T), Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) capitalized on the program's goal of pushing consumers away from gas guzzling sport utilities and pickups, to more efficient cars and trucks, preliminary sales figures showed on Wednesday.

Overseas manufacturers dominate in car sales, while U.S. companies have been stronger in the light truck segment. Cars outsold trucks 2-1 under the "clunker" initiative.

Ford Motor Co (F.N) was the only domestic manufacturer to hold its own in market share compared with its performance so far this year, while GM slipped and Chrysler stumbled noticeably.

GM spokesman Greg Martin said the company, which slowed production significantly during the spring and its early summer bankruptcy, recorded brisk sales of Malibu, Cobalt and other car models in the first weeks of the program.

"We were running thin going into the summer to begin with and, as the program went on, inventory levels play(ed) a part," Martin said.

Ford was the only domestic manufacturer with top-selling models in the "clunkers" program.

OK. To sum up, a US government program to boost US auto companies ended up helping their competitors. The generosity of the US towards its friends is very touching, isn't it?

And is it coincidence, or a sign of something more profound, that Ford was the only US domestic  car company with top selling models in the program?

GM and Chrysler, are currently under the management of the United States government. Ford is not. Does this reveal something about the competence with which those companies are being managed?

I'd say that's a great big "yes."