Fellow Curbivore Joseph Dennis asked a question in the Comments on my recent piece about the Rover 216 Vanden Plas. I had noted how the UK scrappage scheme from 2009 to 2010 had depleted the numbers of many CC qualifying vehicles.
The reasons behind the scheme were sound enough; it was as a response to the 2008 financial crash to stimulate the retail motor trade and thereby the motor industry. The UK government offered £1000.00 to new car purchasers which was to be matched by the motor industry, assuming the car being traded in was roadworthy and legal. £300m was allocated, equivalent to 300,000 cars.
Although the majority of cars taken were 1980s and early 1990s cars with substantial mileages, under the law of unintended consequences, in too many cases Grandma’s Morris Minor or Austin 1100 was traded in for a £2000.00 discount on a Hyundai i10 or Kia Picanto. Sound enough cars, but did this really help the UK motor industry, which didn’t then assemble a small car, apart from the Nissan Micra. And surely most buyers would be able to negotiate that £1000.00 from the dealer any way.
Extreme cases recorded include the consequent crushing of a perfectly sound Triumph Mayflower and one salesman personally buying a 1950’s Hillman Minx for £2000.00 from a customer rather than see it crushed.
So what’s your view – does such a scheme really help remove old, less safe and less eco-friendly cars from our cities, or does the Hillman Minx buying salesman deserve the CC Medal of Honour? Did it just bring forward sales, or maybe allow price rises to go through quietly? Does the reduction in 1980s cars (CCs many of them) really matter?
And extra points if you can name the car in the photo.
Wild guess on the car – Talbot Alpine or Solara.
Quick and accurate – you get the points!
Actually an Alpine, but from this distance they’re the same
It can be argued that the resources required to build the new car that replaces the still serviceable replacement offsets the advantages, at least as far as the environment is concerned.
That’s always been my feeling on the matter. Environmental net zero, or roughly. Good for the car industry, better for the dealers. But with the money coming from the government, those who pay taxes and don’t drive are subsidizing those who do, which is something I vehemently disagree with.
No. Most of the so called clunkers, the name for the US program, were perfectly running vehicles, in fact there were rules stipulating that they were running vehicles as I recall and they only qualified if they had MPG lower than X. Got a rotted out Cavalier with a leaky rusted off exhaust or an oil burning Civic? A Corolla held together with Duct tape? Nope, those aren’t clunkers! Not to mention the cars had to be run, at Wide Open Throttle no less, with liquid glass in the crankcase for up to several minutes to ensure no one would salvage those “clunker” engines to stubbornly keep their own clunker on the road, the end result being a giant cloud of hydrocarbons bursting in the air we’re supposedly trying to protect…
I’m glad they limited the vehicles newer than 25yo, so we can keep all the Ford Fairmont, Plymouth Volare, and Chevrolet Citations, and all Pintos.
And some aerodynamic-obsessive oval Fords survived whatsoever because of right on the line MPG.
Yeah the Tempo/Topazes were spared, Not clunkers! LOL
I meant to say non-LSC Lincoln Mark VIII, and aero Crown Vics, as they had the MPG just enough to be spared, but Town Car didn’t.
Don’t mention the Tempo, well. I don’t appreciate their 3 speed transmission and everything else.
The Cash for Clunkers cutoff was before the 1985 model year and I think it was 1981 or 1982.
As one who has spent 50 years working in all aspects of the bottom end of The Motor Trade , I found it appalling because it hurt so many Blue Collar people .
The waste of good used parts (engines in America) that were badly needed and already had done their ‘ carbon footprint ‘ bit , was astounding ~ not even licensed rebuilders could buy these engines for cores .
This was what killed it for me. I like the idea of encouraging people to get new, safer, and more efficient vehicles, but the waste and destruction of perfectly good cars killed it for me.
As someone who’s recycled every can and bottle I’ve ever used in my life, (Not necessarily because I think I’m going to save the world, I just hate waste), destroying good cars is unforgivable.
And that’s before we even get to my emotional attachment to cars, I can’t tell you how many episodes of Top Gear etc, I’ve turned off when they start destroying cars just for a laugh. That old Mercedes “Reincarnation” commercial can still bring a tear to my eye…
So well stated. This is another reason why I would probably get no enjoyment out of watching a demolition derby.
If something’s not completely broken, it’s usable to someone – regardless of what it is. But I feel this is true especially with cars, which are crucial for people who may need one to get to work. It doesn’t have to be pretty – it just has to be reasonably safe, functional, and fixable. Waste not, want not.
And I hated seeing footage of Top Gear drop a piano on what looked like an okay-condition Morris Marina. The car had made it to the 2000’s in reasonable shape, and then…
You probably don’t want to see the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, where they destroy a Lincoln Continental and compact it in a salvage yard.
But that was a nearly new Continental at the time. Still sort of a waste in terms of resources, but a private company paid somebody good money for the car, and no one had any idea they’d be collector’s itmes back then.
(It’s also good for a laugh when they take the cubed Continental and drop it in the back of a Falcon-based Ranchero, which Odd Job drives away. Like a 4500 lb cube of metal could be hauled by a Ranchero! All that would accomplish is broken suspension, bent frame, and burst tires, in no particular order.
I think we’ve previously discussed how cars get to be “survivors”. There’s that window they have to make it through of being just old cars, before they make it to being classic cars. Probably the vast majority of “clunkers” wouldn’t have made it through the window anyway, and maybe the air is a little cleaner now they’re gone.
But honestly, I can’t feel happy about it – it feels like an unnatural process that will have lost quite a few properly nice cars. And none of them will have become parts cars so that the survivors can live on more cheaply.
Just another foolish scheme to subsidise the auto industry that was failing thru its own stupidity, It create more pollution building a new car than that car can produce out its tailpipe in its normal lifespan, where keeping a classic on the road is actually environmentally friendly and they are nicer cars.
The concept is sound and the intention is good, but the execution was flawed. More than anything else, though, the worst thing C4C did was increase (at least in my area) distrust of the federal government. Over time, this (again, at least in my area) leads to the promotion of right-wing ideologies that masquerade as libertarianism but are really just fronts for corporate-sponsored statism–“a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand.” That’s about as political as I need to get.
Even my most right-leaning acquaintances will concede, though, that very little of value was lost when they are reminded of the most common vehicles removed in C4C–the Explorer, F-150, Blazer, Grand Cherokee, et al. can still be found in all states of (dis)repair around my neck of the woods because there were just so many of them.
As a person living in Michigan, it’s just such a pity they didn’t keep the rust-free body rollers for all the working-class in rust belt.
Uh, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but C4C was a LEFT wing idea, not a right-wing one. Remember, it was one of Obama’s babies, and he was quite proud of it. Greenies LOVE flawed ideologies like C4C.
That’s exactly what I said. Read it again. There was nothing flawed with the idea of C4C, just the execution. I’m slightly right of center, which means most right-wingers will call me liberal scum.
I really don’t want CC going political, commentary wise, but I really appreciate your comment.
……umm …I’m sorry……..what??
I think they are trying to say it panders to both camps – the capitalists (Righties) make you buy more and it pacifies the eco-warriors (Lefties) because it claims to pollute less. Either way it does nothing for CC appreciators.
While I do agree on both points, what I was getting at was that the original comment really didn’t flow as it were. Could be wrong I suppose, it has happened before. 😉
In Japan the rules against clunkers are more strict. I don’t think the car owner gets paid to take them off the road, it’s mandated.
A clunker someone is willing to turn in for 1500 BP is probably not a very good restoration candidate anyway. If it saves a few lives due to better brakes, air bags and better avoidance maneuverability, the program has probably paid for itself and then some. The costs of deaths and injuries gets passed onto all of us in the form of higher insurance, higher medical premiums and lost productivity. This is not a small amount and is before considering the benefits of cleaner air causing less illness and death and better mpg reducing the need for imported oil.
Overall, the Japanese probably have the most efficient model, crush and recycle the old cars sooner, stamp out new and improved ones and reduce the health costs of oil burners and dangerous handling boats, etc. I certainly feel safer and breath easier when the cars around me aren’t on their last legs.
Real classics worthy of saving for future generations to experience will be lovingly rebuilt, probably better than new, and driven discriminately to maximize pleasure.
Most likely because of the domestic regulations on older vehicles in Japan ( I mean those barely 6yo used cars ) , they never had any thoughts on rust resistance about cars most likely because cars would be deposed very soon anyway. And for the first time they sold a lot of cars in the US, many cars literally fell apart after 1-2yrs ( by compare, any rust buckets from Ford and Chrysler were so much better in terms of staying one piece ) Maybe by putting factories in Ohio, Honda realized what road salt is, but Toyota still doesn’t know much about it when spending most time staying in southern states.
This car is spotted in Taiwan ( not by me though ) where road salt doesn’t exist. Near to the sea isn’t an excuse for poor rust-resistance.
In Japan they do not use road salt, so for a long while Japanese automakers werent familiar with salt, and as you mentioned they didnt care if their cars rotted out in 5 years.
Both a lack of corrosion protection, and thin cheap metal are why they’re a bit scarce in some areas.
I’m sure Toyota and Nissan still have hard time understanding road salt. Some crappy cars made by big three ( especially Taurus, cheaper Chrysler minivans, and many W cars ) still hold up better by compare in terms of road salt. They wouldn’t be structure compromised in 10yrs, nor show too excessive rust ( bubbling around fuel caps, rust spots on tailgate is bad enough but not excessive by compare )
This 4-Runner is too beyond. The metal must be very very cheap and sort of too thin in this example.
The Japanese makers know what rust is alright numerous complaints from NZ about the poor durability of their products reached ears in Japan and Toyota fearing it would lose its favourite market actually did something about it, along with the different suspension tune NZ buyers enjoy we got galvanised locally assembled cars.
Holy cow that 4runner is bad!! I have never seen such a trashy one of that generation. I wonder if that is shoddy accident repair or lack of going to car washes.
Surprised that is considered road legal in Taiwan.
I think many governments have hard time regulating rust damage to a vehicle, as it’s not as simple as banning cars missing wheels/doors from public roads. And this example really has bad rust on the door bottom, something more common in rust belt from the US but not in Taiwan.
As often happens, a law with good intentions (stimulating a faltering industry), wasn’t completely thought through and as a consequence it didn’t benefit everyone it was hoped it would.
As I understand it, the U.K. adopted environmental laws similar to the U.S. a “few” years ago that have made “backyard junkyards” all but illegal. These types of laws have been nearly as damaging to CCers. They forced many smaller junkyards to close and/or “clean-up”.
Terrible idea, but it didn’t seem to make much difference here. I’m still seeing the same quantity of good cars as before the CFC scam. As XR7Matt pointed out, CFC was aimed at running cars, not dead heaps.
If you’re driving a ’78 Caddy, it’s because you LIKE the car. You won’t be easily bribed into replacing it with a Kia.
The economic side is similar to the ecological side. After depreciation, keeping a good car running is always cheaper, and always uses less energy, than replacing it with new.
I’m surprised they didn’t limit the age of cars for such program in the UK. Triumph Mayflower is way old to get historical plate anywhere in the US with almost all exempt from emission. ( some states require emission for cars newer than in the ’70s, but most don’t ) In the US, on the other hand, a Chrysler Fifth Avenue in 2009 was just as disposable as an early LH Chrysler Concorde now, but 5th Ave is becoming more collectable these days. It’s not predictable about which car will become sort of collectable in the future.
However, every single Malaise Era car was spared from cash for clunkers though.
The salesman who rescued the Minx deserves a medal in my book!o
In France, as far as I remember, we had 3 or 4 of these programs :
– From february 1994 to june 1995, you could get 5.000 Francs to buy a new car if you scrapped a 10+ years old car.
– From october 1995 to october 1996, you could get 5 to 7.000 Francs depending on the car range if you scrapped a 8+ years old car.
These measures were enforced by Prime Ministers Edouard Balladur then Alain Juppé, so the scrapped cars gained the notorious names of “balladurettes” and “juppettes”.
Like anywhere else, some complained that it sent many good cars to the scrapyard but that complaint was mostly unheard.
Then, from 2008 to 2011, Prime Minister François Fillon created another scrappage incentive where you could get 1.000 € from april 2008 to march 2010, 700 € from avril 2010 to septembre 2010 and 500 € from octobre 2010 to mars 2011 if you scrapped a 10+ years car to replace with one with less than 160 g/km of CO2 emissions.
It cost a lot to the State but many doubted the effectiveness of that measure.
First, the surge in car sales was immediately followed by a dip just after march 2011 when the incentive disappeared. It seems that the incentive only pushed people to replace their cars earlier than they had planned. Basically, the incentive made people buy cars they would have bought 1 or 2 years later. So the increased sales were virtual since the cars sold would have been bought no matter what.
Second, because of the emissions limitations, people chose to buy subcompacts where companies’ margin were the lowest.
Third, doing an incentive based only on CO2 emissions was a non-sence since it gave the false impression that diesels where greener than gas engine because of their low CO2 emissions.
As a consequence, more and more people, and not only car guys, are doubting the efficiency of these measures.
Yet, I think another one is in the pipeline with green painted all other it (while the true goal still is to make people buy cars).
In the Rust Belt as well as crowded, polluted areas Cash for Clunkers made more sense and the intentions were meant to be beneficial, but there were several negative side affects. I do not like 1990s Ford Explorers so replacing them with more fuel efficient as well as safer cars is fine by me, but wish the Corolla was not the most purchased vehicle.
Most 1991-1995 Plymouth Voyagers were already gone in the Southern Tier by 09 so Cash for Clunkers did not do help me out much. I am so going to get a “I survived Cash for Clunkers” sticker for my next 94-95 Voyager. My parents were thinking of using my hoopty of a Caprice in Cash for Clunkers, but the rules said you had to buy a new car, there were no 08 Outbacks left, and my parents think the 09 Outback is ugly so they did not bother.
The Minx-buying salesman deserves a knighthood, for displaying some rare common sense rather than just following the mandated procedure.
I wanted to write something up on this subject some time ago myself, now at least I have a good reason to share the photo. The three cars in the center and the aqua Hyundai in the right-lower corner have been scrapped this spring. The owners got their RR 50.000 discounts (less than US $1000 then, and slightly more than $500 today). As a reference, a 1965 Moskvitch in this condition could be sold for RR 70.000-100.000 easily.
The owner was possibly too old/lazy/stupid to realize that he is scrapping a pristine survivor car with a proper title (the prerequisite for joining the scrappage scheme), just to buy some piece of Korean tinfoil crap (with interior door trim panel edges trimmed with an office knife according to the look of it, I must add) with a meager discount (the least expensive Kia was sold for around RR 500.000, or 90% more then the discount). A damn pity.
The Hyundai, the Talbot (not quite as happy as the one in the photo from UK) and the the post-1994 Volga (badly rotten) – not so much. But now think of it – most of the scrapped cars have been replaced with brand new… Lada built Fiat 124 clones. That pretty much says it all about how “efficient” the thing was… in fact, for the most part old, but still roadworthy Lada Fiat-124 clones have been replaced with newer, but more poorly built and less reliable ones. People who buy modern brand new cars normally don’t have RR 50.000 worth beaters for the scrappage scheme, they trade in.
Interesting. I’m trying to learn Russian, I’ve made it as far as learning the Cyrillic alphabet. I find it weird Kia is “Russified” as БЦР in that sign, and not the more literal КИА or perhaps КИЯ. As far as I know, the name Kia is a made up sound, not an acronym. Any idea what БЦР stands for?
I’m surprised about the rotten cars in Russia. I don’t really know about the road salt in Soviet areas/Russia but considering the steel quality, I assume they wouldn’t really dump salt on the road like they do in Michigan ( as if the salt truck tips over ), otherwise many cars will be dissolved long time ago. But on the other hand, if there isn’t much road salt, the steel has really bad quality to rot like that.
I don’t know that much about the comrade Moscow car, but I do hear about it from some Soviet diecast models and those are rather rare and desirable ( and I’m sure many collectors around motor city would like to try out some different cars after staying with all kinds of different cars from both side of iron curtain, as long as someone happens to know the car. Even Polonez pops up in Troy, Michigan during summer ) However, I’m surprised at how long they hanged around with the same tooling after excessive wears. And the quality indeed declined a lot along with difference recessions in Russia, and I can imagine that on real cars too.
I remember cruising eBay and seeing things like mid 80s B-body wagons where the sellers were demanding that either the buyer pay $4000 (or more) or the vehicle would be sold to the dealer and sent to the crusher.
That broke my heart. Especially the Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles.
It seemed around here, many of the new car dealers continued the C4C programs after the government programs ended, basically a new twist on the old $1500 trade credit for any car that could be pushed, pulled, tugged or towed onto the lot. In essence, build the trade in credit into the price of the car or into the finance scheme so the customer ends up paying the $1500 anyway. They just think they got a deal.
Actually, the British scrappage scheme was very much politically motivated. The contemptible Labour party brought it in as part of their desperate attempts to buy votes and remain in power. They rushed it through before the election which is why it was so half baked. They didn’t bother making sure that the car turned in polluted more than the one it was being replaced by, or that the vehicles being bought created less than a certain amount of pollution. (On the first day a London banker turned in his mother’s clapped out Nissan Micra on a GTR.) It wasn’t about being green, it was all about pushing their “supposedly benevolent Big Brother” big-government agenda. The only winners were people like GTR man, or my boss’ very rich friend who had hung onto his 1995ish BMW 325 out of laziness. Its head gasket went and the engine blew so he bought himself a new 5-series and turned in the old 3-series to get 2K off a Mazda Miata for his wife, paying cash for both new cars.
At the time, I worked from home and drove my very serviceable and fully-paid-for 1992 VW. Multiple stupid people asked me why I wasn’t taking advantage of the scheme, necessitating an explanation that (a) taking on a monthly car payment for a vehicle I did not need when I had one which more than met my needs was ridiculous and (b) the point of my paying taxes is not in order for the government to give my tax money to other citizens to purchase or part-purchase consumer goods.
Aside from destroying many modern classics and some older, lower-value cars that were already classics, many small-business mechanics who specialized in fixing cheaper, older cars went out of business as their customers turned in their cars, taking on debt they couldn’t afford even with the discount when they financed new vehicles. Poorer people who needed cheap, basic, reliable transport were unable to find it as the supply of second hand cars at their price-point was choked off.
Happily, Labour had done so much damage on so many other fronts by this point that this sop wasn’t anything like enough to win them the election, but as with much of what they did, the repercussions are still being felt today.
A shame in the UK we now have a replacement Government in power which continues to mess-up environmental policy so much that say just on pollution targets alone will fail and in its fixation on reducing the trade deficit has messed up transport, housing, health and social policy as well.
The scrappage scheme in the UK was not about removing old cars off the road it was a pure economic stimulous measure brought in after the 2008 credit-supply recession. Which was the wrong reason to implement it.
I was against it because:
1. It altered the food supply chain of old cars for various groups (young people for instance) and destroyed many historic vehicles
2. As a condition of the scheme none of the parts could be re-used, i.e. all the vehicle had to be destroyed so there was no ongoing benefit to existing vehicles
3. it did not contribute as well as it should have to the UK economy because a considerable number of consumers bought cars made from outside the UK (and Europe) – Kia for instance did very well.
In respect of 3 the scrappage scheme would have had a better economic impact on the UK economy if it had been confined to vehicles made in the UK (even if under non-UK ownership e.g. Mini, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Peugeot etc.). Mini at ‘Oxford’ (Cowley) shed a lot of jobs soon after and more recently Peugeot have decided to close Ryton Nr. Coventry.
Scrappage of vehicles is wrong unless they are in a very bad condition at end of life and there is possibility to recycle – doing things ‘naturally’ if you like.
As an owner of a few old (and maybe classic) cars – the newest being 13 years – I agree that just because a car is old it does not have to be replaced. it infuriated me when my mother suggested I scrap an old Ford Escort just because it is old and she didn’t like it.
In general the best way to reduce vehicle borne pollution is to use vehicles less; it is also the way to save on ongoing running costs.
Man, what a total boondoggle the whole C4C fiasco turned out to be. Many of you touched on the bulk of the points against it. Its not that I miss all those crappy Furd Exploders, and the like…but the bulk of those cars required fairly light reconditioning to be fully dependable, cheap and clean transportation for poorer people. All used car prices skyrocketed as a result. Several interesting and worthwhile vehicles were victims. Among them, a LaForza, and several Corvettes as I remember. Why wasn’t there anything put in place to exempt a car based on ease of reconditioning or collector interest?
Does anyone even know if ANY of the parts of the crushed cars could have been scavenged? If not, that’s a LOT of 8.8″ rear axles that could’ve been used to upgrade late 80’s-and newer Jeeps.
C4C did Hyundai, kia, and Toyota a lot of good…sure the dealerships are American owned/run and some of those cars are built here. Still, it does squat for the economy when the lion’s share of the actual profits went overseas. No stipulations were made on the newer car having to be from the Big 3 (helping our own industry) or at least having a significant amount of American input.
Instead of bribing us (with our own money, no less) to toe some socio-political enviro B.S. line in all this, meanwhile destroying perfectly good older cars, why wasn’t there a direct tax credit voucher issued for the purchase of a new vehicle? Why couldn’t a person who works a job buy anything they can afford simply using the money that is stolen in the form of income tax and apply it to the vehicle of that person’s choice? Whether a straight cash purchase (some with really large incomes pay the equivalent of a new car’s price several times over in income taxes) or applied per month like a normal payment, why not let us actually KEEP the money we earned to start with, and put it back in to the economy by buying a new car? Big 3 purchases can be tax credited 100%, foreign owned products but American built get a 50% voucher and straight up imports get a 20% voucher. Sounds fair to me. And Ill tell ya what…Id be at or near my last payment on a Challenger R/T. That’s a lot better investment for me than lining politicians/beauracrats’ pockets, right?
A lot of the cars ended up at the local pick n pull type yards here, the engines were trashed, but the drivelines were ok
I was astonished to see how many of these C4C mobiles I found I my local self-serve junkyard. Fair to good condition daily drivers. Engines still in the vehicles so the bolt-on parts could be salvaged. Wrecking yards probably made mode profit than anyone else.
The CFC screwed the entire used car market for at least 10 years. As my age is mid 60’s the only reason I have been able to afford cars all these years is the abundance of good affordable 15-30 year old cars. Since my mid 20’s I have owned nothing else. My newest car today is a 1995 Taurus.
Very much so. In fact that’s probably the main reason I bought new rather than used in 2011–the values were still artificially inflated on used cars such that there was no sense buying a car 2 or 3 years old. That used to be the smart way to go, let someone else take the brunt of depreciation, but after C4C prices shot up to where there was no point buying a 2 year old car when you could buy new for $1000 or so more. And those inflated prices trickled all the way down through the market
C4C? Like so much from Obama, the motivation was purely political, and the program itself was a bad mistake.
I had a vehicle at the time that qualified. I basically told the feds to go pound sand (and took the trouble to actually write and tell them that). That vehicle is gone now but it died a natural death and its usable parts are helping other old cars to stay on the road.
Anything that got someone out from under a Miserati Biturbo can’t be all bad.
I could not care less about new vehicles being safer or more environmentally friendly. I am opposed to any measure that depletes the supply of old cars and old car parts, and in particular torquey old V8 engines. I can’t remember being more enraged behind the wheel than the day I drove past a C4C promotional that had an ostensibly C4C’d Ford Country Squire as the promotional vehicle. I drove away immediately because it made me sick to see it there.
And there were so many stories of older people, usually widows, who were “strong-armed” by their families into using their clean, low-mileage RWD V8 cruisers as C4C trades on 4-cylinder compacts. I remember hearing one in particular where an older lady was essentially hauled into the dealership by her grandchildren and forced to trade in an immaculate ’87 Caprice Brougham for something like a Corolla, because new = better of course. She was crying when she handed over the keys. That one had a better than usual ending–several of the dealership employees agreed to purchase the car jointly for $2500 and resell it rather than see such a clean car destroyed–but that scene played out hundreds or thousands of times with an ending that was bad for all parties, except the dealership owner and the manufacturer.
C4C was a terrible program. At the time, we were a three person family with two vehicles- both over 300k miles on the odometer. My father lost his job, so we were literally counting change to get by. Our Escort died just before the program, and was replaced by a New Yorker that was given to us.
Our F250 died in the middle of the C4C program. All three of us scrounged $2500 for a truck. But, guess what- there weren’t any. I saw a few that were to be crushed for cash for clunkers. There were a couple that could have literally changed our lives. But, nope. We ended up buying a 1989 K2500 Scottsdale, because it was the only $2500 truck that we could find. It was a piece of junk, but it was the only truck out there.
I think C4C is the reason that I “hoard” trucks to this day. We currently own 4 pickup trucks. If some stupid idea like this happens again, at least we’ll have a truck.
Whoever designed this- I’m glad I don’t have their interview at the Pearly Gates when their time comes….
I am not a fan of the “cash for clunkers” corporate welfare scheme. We have people who cannot afford new cars and yea, while the gas mileage on an older car is often not that great, the entry price for a still-useful car makes it possible for working people to get on the road. All the C4C has done, is raise the bar for entry into a world that needs wheels for a future and benefited companies that should be pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps, in our supposed “free market”. I don’t think I need to explain that we now have less CC’s to enjoy because of it.
On an outside shot I think the car is a Yugo / Zastava
Absolute complete and utter politically driven nonsense, these programes were. Nobody gained other than certain car companies. At the time I still had my 92 Ford Escort diesel and held to it – what on earth could I have bought with the pittance they provided (€3000?) in Austria without getting myself into debt? The car was in perfect mechanical condition (50 MPG come sun or rain) but would have needed some rusty spots patched. Had I not gotten a good job a bit later, I would probably have kept it but living in Vienna having a car was no longer necessary so it went – still driving and stopping – to a Romanian gypsy who probably sold it off over there (I’d bet it’s alive somewhere in Transylvania serving some young vampire kid).
First, by destroying a perfectly good engine, C4C schemes drive up the price of junkyard take-outs. Good for the scrapyard but bad for the consumer. And where are those junkyard takeouts going? Often they go to keep a lower income person’s sole source of transportation running.
Second, thinking along the same lines, destroying millions of middle-aged vehicles distorts the used-car market, driving up prices which makes it harder for poorer people to buy a reliable vehicle to get to work.
What about those rides with one foot in the grave to begin with? If rust isn’t the issue, then cars like those can be donated to Goodwill or similar organization where they can be refurbished and resold as affordable entry-level transportation.
I thought recycling was supposed to be a good thing, and I’ve just given some time-honored examples of recycling that actually benefit those who need real help the most. And it’s much less expensive than a substitutionary handout.
Who benefits from C4C?
-Auto companies and their workers. But how is this any different from any other make-work project? Really?
-People with a qualifying car can now trade in to get a new one. But maybe they are better off in a CPO more suited to their budget? (Plus that’s a higher profit center for new-car dealers anyway)
-Governments, who decide the winners and losers. It’s another way of buying votes.
But I believe the market distortions hurt far more people than they help and it can be easily argued that those helped don’t need it as much as those hurt.
Finally, to revisit point #2, the US C4C scheme drove up used car prices for five years. Only now are prices returning to levels considered normal.
And no, I’m not going to touch any environmental third rails other than the recycling ones mentioned above. I’m not attempting to begin an argument, instead hoping to clarify my opinion that C4C is just more corporate welfare.
C4C disgusted me to the point that I went two years or more without setting foot on any new car dealer’s lot…for the reasons which have been amply discussed already. It was an example of the one-size-fits-all top-down approach emblematic of government programs, and yet another indication that we have too much government.
Does the CC community like scrappage schemes? What kind of question is that? Next, will we be asked if we like watching someone drown puppies and kittens?
The mere existence of C4C was bad enough. But what took it over the line from just misguided to actually evil is the little maneuver that EPA did not too long before C4C started, of retroactively revising fuel economy ratings downward on a whole bunch of older cars. While this was ostensibly to reflect changes in real world driving conditions, its real effect was to increase greatly the universe of cars eligible for C4C. In particular, a variety of really good and durable full size cars were C4C eligible only because of the downward revisions in EPA ratings — like 1991-96 GM full size wagons, 1990’s Cadillac Broughams and Buick Roadmasters, early and mid 90’s Town Cars, and 4.5 and 4.9 engined FWD Cadillacs, to name a few. I have owned a couple of cars in that group myself, and I know a number of people who have owned others, and all of us would say that the revised EPA numbers were unduly pessimistic. The idea that a full size luxury sedan or wagon that easily returned 22-25 MPG on the highway (equal to or better than many newer SUV type vehicles available at the time that seated 6 or 8) should be destroyed as a gas guzzler was absurd.
Quite a number of cars that were worth more than the fee offered in the German scrappage scheme (Abwrackprämie) met their demise anyway because of pushy dealers that didn’t want an older car on their lot. Plenty of cars that were not exactly wrecks, any car <2000 qualified, the programme took place in 2009, went off because of it. The fee was €2500, most 1999 cars were worth more than that back then.
Let's say I wasn't sad to hear many officially scrapped cars went on to live another life in Africa. If the environment really was to be helped by the measure (which it was by its formal name – Umweltprämie) then that definitely did help. A batch of newer, cleaner cars replacing many older wrecks on the roads there.
Lots of old German trucks also ended in third world countries (not through the Abwrackprämie I believe) when they became “too old”. It is quite funny to see them complete with their old fleet color schemes working years and years later – this one is now earning money in Jordan.
… and here’s another, including – maybe – a BMW officially abgewrackt…
I was at a Ford dealership and got to see the Nice Cars For Cash Program. Most wasteful thing I have ever personally witnessed.
Let’s get rid of a bunch of old wreck politicians like that. They cost too much to run and they pollute our environment.
Fill’em up with sodium silicate and run them on a treadmill till they pop.
This is what I find the most infuriating about the scrappage schemes, whether or not they worked. That Passat may have been an old junker, but it was still a car that served someone well for around 20 years. And then to end like this. Guess I’m too attached to those rolling four-wheeled cans.