“Cash For Clunkers” Data Extremely Inaccurate, Favors Japanese

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The “cash for clunkers” data by car manufacturer and model type is incorrect. The Department of Transportation numbers reports cars by drive train and not by brand. Edmunds was able to see part of this disparity and reported that “Government breaks out models by drive type; Edmunds.com aggregates all model data to report each model once.”

Government statistics show that the most purchased model type under the program was the Toyota (TM) Corolla. It was followed by the Honda (HMC) Civic, Toyota (TM) Camry, and Ford (F) Focus FWD.

Edmund’s measurements, done by model give Ford three of the top four slots. In first place is the company’s Focus, followed by the Escape, the Honda (HMC) Civic, and Ford’s F-150 pick-up.

The DOT list of leading purchases from its August 26 release put the models in this order:

Top 10 New Vehicles Purchased

1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford Focus FWD
5. Hyundai Elantra
6. Nissan Versa
7. Toyota Prius
8. Honda Accord
9. Honda Fit
10. Ford Escape FWD

The Edmunds data as of last Thursday:

Top 10 clunker buys:

MAKE           MODEL

Ford              Focus
Ford              Escape
Honda           Civic
Ford               F-150
Toyota          Corolla
Toyota          Camry
Honda           CR-V
Chevrolet     Silverado 1500
Hyundai        Elantra
Honda            Accord

Detroit goes from having two in the top ten to four.

On trade-ins, the DOT numbers:

Top 10 Trade-in Vehicles

1. Ford Explorer 4WD

2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD

4. Ford Explorer 2WD

5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD

6.  Jeep Cherokee 4WD

7.  Chevrolet Blazer 4WD

8. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD

9. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD

10. Ford Windstar FWD Van

Compared to the figures from Edmunds:

MAKE         MODEL of  Trade Ins
Ford            Explorer
Ford            F-150
Jeep            Grand Cherokee
Chevrolet  Blazer
Chevrolet  C/K 1500 Series
Jeep             Cherokee
Ford             Windstar
DodgeRam Pickup 1500
Mercury      Grand Marquis
Cadillac        DeVille

The government has always had trouble with math.

Douglas A. McIntyre