Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'll Trade You an Explorer for a Focus

Flint Expatriate Jim Holbel points out that some info is now available on the cars changing hands in the Cash For Clunkers program.

"Easy to see that the 'green' intent is VIVIDLY reflected in this data," Holbel writes. "And based on the depleted program funding, the 'pump taxpayer cash into the economy' effect is working. But benefiting US carmakers? Maybe not so much. And woe unto the guy who runs a shop keeping old Ford Explorers on the road."

The Top Ten Cash for Clunkers New Cars:

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

The Top Ten Cash for Clunkers Trade-Ins:

1. 1998 Ford Explorer
2. 1997 Ford Explorer
3. 1996 Ford Explorer
4. 1999 Ford Explorer
5. Jeep Grand Cherokee
6. Jeep Cherokee
7. 1995 Ford Explorer
8. 1994 Ford Explorer
9. 1997 Ford Windstar
10. 1999 Dodge Caravan


  1. I took in a 1992 Ford Explorer for a 2009 Saturn Vue. I was said to see the Explorer go.

    That car saw a lot of things go down in Flint!

  2. well, duh... no surprise there... :) I guess I beat the trend, I already own 2 Focus'. :D

  3. Such an elegant summary of the results. This is (I hesitate to use this term for fear of backlash from one of the anonymouses, but here it is) social engineering at its best. Everybody wins. Given the right incentives, people can and will change. And when the program is built around savvily-chosen rewards rather than crude and demeaning punishments, the secondary side effects are beneficent, rather than the kind that come back around to bite you in the ass as in the punishment-based strategies of the Bush years.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at