Toyota Vehicles Most Popular in CARS Program

When the first ‘clunkers’ statistics were released, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made a big hullabaloo about the fact that Detroit automakers were capturing more than their market share’s worth of vehicles under the Car Allowance Rebate System–especially GM, which was benefitting more than any other automaker from the program. That will no longer be a talking point for NHTSA, however, as new statistics show that Toyota is now selling more vehicles than GM with the CARS incentives.

The new statistics, current through last Friday, show that Toyota’s vehicles account for 18.9 percent of all new vehicles purchased under CARS. GM follows with 17.6 percent, then Ford with 15.4 percent, Honda with 12.9 percent, and Chrysler with 9.1 percent. So far, dealers have submitted 358,851 vouchers, which account for $1.5 billion of the $3 billion allocated for the program by Congress.

Most of that money has been funneled to California, where dealers have requested $152.4 million. Texas dealers had requested $91.1 million, Michigan dealers $80.6 million, New York dealers $77 million, and Ohio dealers have asked for $76.3 million.

The best-selling cars in the program are dominated with foreign makes. The Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic are the first and second best-selling vehicles, followed by the Ford Focus, and Toyota Camry and Prius. The only other Detroit-made vehicle to crack the top ten is the Ford Escape, which was the seventh best-selling CARS vehicle.

The Detroit three do dominate one of NHTSA’s lists, though: trade-ins. Trucks, SUVs, and minivans from Chrysler, Ford, and GM dominate the list, with the Ford Explorer and F-150 and Jeep Grand Cherokee taking the top three spots.

The program has been successful in spurring sales, and especially at increasing the fuel economy of vehicles on the road. The average fuel economy of trade-ins us about 15.8 miles per gallon, while the fuel economy of purchases is 25 mpg.

Source: Automotive News

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