Thursday, July 30, 2009

Auto: Cash-for-Clunkers to be Suspended

by Bill McBride on 7/30/2009 07:52:00 PM

From the Detroit Free Press: Cash-for-clunkers program to be suspended (ht Basel Too)

The U.S. government will suspend the popular cash-for-clunkers program after less than four days in business, telling Congress that the plan would burn through its $950-million budget by midnight, several sources told the Free Press. ... auto dealers may have already arranged the sale of more than the 250,000 vehicles that federal officials expected the plan to generate.
Sources tell me (no link) that showroom traffic jumped by about 33% at auto dealers over the last week to about the levels of last September. See the following graph:

Vehicle Sales Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales (seasonally adjusted annual rate) from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for June (red, light vehicle sales of 9.69 million SAAR from AutoData Corp).

Light vehicle sales last September (before the collapse in October) were at a 12.46 million SAAR. Of course this is just one week of July at that sales rate ... and the program is now suspended. But that means July sales will probably be over 10 million SAAR for the first time this year.

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