According to a recent study conducted by Edmunds, the US CARS program only spurred the sale of 125,000 new vehicles of the almost 690,000 sold under the government’s Cash for Clunkers program.
Given past and predicted sales trends, the study discovered that 565,000 of the vehicles sold under the program would have left dealers lots at some point this year regardless of the CARS program, leaving US taxpayers with a bill of $24,000 per car for the program’s 125,000 incremental sales.
Edmunds’ research also discovered that October sales would have been much higher had it not been for the government’s Cash for Clunkers program.
“October sales are up, but without Cash for Clunkers, sales would have been even better,” said Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl.
Edmunds acknowledges that the program probably had a positive environmental impact as many buyers wouldn’t have otherwise traded in their older vehicle, but the research firm is dubious of the economic impact of the CARS program, saying “the economic claims have been rendered quite weak.”