August 27, 2009

Cash For Clunkers A ‘Success’ At Exposing Continued Decay at Bailed-Out GM and Chrysler

NoToGMandChrysler0109

Julia Seymour, Kyle Drennen, and several others at NewsBusters have done a great job (here and here, here, and here, just for starters) exposing the establishment media’s rush to characterize the government’s Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program, commonly known as “Cash for Clunkers” program, a success. This media meme has persisted despite processing snafus, slow payments to dealers, dealer opt-outs, market distortions, and less than perfect disclosure of sales and income tax consequences to buyers.

Of course, as far as the media’s cheerleaders are concerned, the problems have made the program not a case study in bureaucratic weakness, but instead “a victim of its own success.”

But Cash for Clunkers has indeed been an unqualified success in one important sense I don’t expect the media will be too keen on reporting. The program’s results have exposed just how weak the market positions of bailed-out General Motors and Chrysler really are.

Information found at this U.S. Department of Transportation web page (PDF), with supporting reports at Japan Today, AutoGuide.com, and the Associated Press reveals the following:

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

Share of New Vehicles Sold Under the Program (only first eight listed) —
- Toyota 19.4%
- General Motors 17.6%
- Ford 14.4%
- Honda 13.0%
- Nissan 8.7%
- Hyundai 7.2%
- Chrysler 6.6%
- Kia 4.3%

You’ll note that GM and Chrysler were each shut out of the top ten list.

Additionally, GM’s and Chrysler’s share of Clunker-related sales of 17.6% and 6.6% above are significantly lower than their market shares of 18.8% and 8.9%, respectively, during July.

While it’s true that Ford’s Clunker share was 1.5% lower than its July market share, Edmunds called Ford one of the two big Cash for Clunkers winners in a press release today – and look at what Edmunds is predicting for August vehicle sales by brand:

EdmundsPredictedVehSales0809

Here’s what Edmunds reported about the program’s winners and losers:

“Hyundai and Ford were the biggest winners in the Cash for Clunkers contest, experiencing significant growth in August sales compared with a year ago,” said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs, whose analysis of Edmunds.com’s August sales forecast can be found on AutoObserver.com. “This is likely to be a record month for Hyundai, beating their prior sales record by a mile — maybe as much as 40 percent.”

“In contrast, some automakers couldn’t really make Cash for Clunkers work for them, and their August sales suffered as a result,” Krebs noted, “Chrysler and GM — both hurt by extended factory shutdowns during their Chapter 11 proceedings — had limited inventory to feed Cash for Clunkers, while high-end automakers didn’t have the right products for these buyers.”

Given the extraordinarily high levels of unsold vehicles GM and Chrysler had on hand earlier this year, I’m not sure that Ms. Krebs’s claim about “limited inventory” holds up, even with the extended shutdowns cited. But even if it does, why wouldn’t the geniuses who fashion themselves as “car czars” have done something about the impending shortage in advance?

The big story in vehicle sales ever since the bailouts of GM and Chrysler commenced in December of last year has been how those two companies have consistently lost market share ever since. The press has almost dogmatically refused to consider the possibility that consumers continue to shun now state-controlled GM and shotgun-wedded Chrysler because they refuse to do business with bailed-out companies that gobbled up tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money, running roughshod over disfavored classes of creditors and violating long-established principles of contract law in the process. Even if the avoidance in some cases isn’t ideologically based, but instead revolves around warranty and other concerns, lost sales are lost sales.

The press continues to ignore the ever more obvious shunning of the bailed-out. That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Pass the Salt, Coach!

Filed under: Activism,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 10:36 am

Coach Dave Daubenmire of “Pass the Salt Ministries” is tired of being blown-off by Representative Zack Space (OH-18), which probably means Space is going to do whatever Nancy Pelosi wants regarding healthcare deform.

Gives a whole new meaning to “nickel defense…”

From Coach Dave:

Coach Dave Daubenmire to Begin Round-The-Clock
Vigil Outside Congressman Zack Space’s Office to Demand
Town Hall Meeting on Ever-Increasing Govt.

Zanesville, OH – August, 26, 2009 – In response to Congressman Zack Space’s refusal to meet face-to-face with those whom he was elected to represent, Coach Dave Daubenmire of Pass The Salt Ministries will begin a round-the-clock vigil outside the Congressman’s office in Zanesville, Ohio. Coach Dave, in his capacity as a private citizen, while be sleeping outside Zack Space’s office until the Congressman agrees to hold a Public Town Hall meeting anywhere in the Licking, Knox, Muskingum County areas of the 18th Congressional District. To date, Congressman Space has refused to meet face to face with “John Q. Public” choosing instead to attend invitation only events, hold tele-conferences, while refusing to publish a list of his “appearances” on his website http://space.house.gov/index.html.

Coach Dave followed Congressman Space across three Ohio counties last week in attempt to schedule a meeting with him. Numerous requests have been made to the Congressman’s office to no avail. Although Congressman Space agreed to meet one-on-one with the Coach in the private, Coach Dave refused the invitation, opting instead for a “Public Meeting” where Rep. Space’s responses would be open for all to hear.

Vigil to Demand Town Hall Meeting

Who: Coach Dave Daubenmire
What: Round-the-Clock Vigil*
Where: Offices of Rep. Zack Space located at 17 N. Fourth Street, Zanesville, OH
When: August 27, 2009 beginning at 7:00 am and lasting until Rep. Space grants Town Hall Meeting with his constituents.
Why: Rep. Space has been hiding from his constituents and needs to answer questions from the public.
*Coach Dave leaving only to conduct his afternoon football coaching duties at Fairfield Christian Academy in Lancaster, Ohio.

Statement from Coach Dave Daubenmire

“‘We the people’ are the first three words to the Preamble of the US Constitution”, Coach Dave stated. “At no time in American History have the citizens felt more removed from their government than they do today. We are currently faced with legislation that may alter the direction of this nation forever. It is imperative that Congressman Space not hide behind his supporters. He was elected to represent all the citizens of the 18th District and not to be a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi and President Obama. As a former football player at Kenyon College I would hope that Congressman Space understands the importance of a huddle and the need for everyone to know the play that is being called. I will remain outside his office until he agrees to a ‘Huddle’ with those he represents, or until it becomes obvious that Congressman Space has decided to ‘run his own play’ without any input from those who will be footing the bill.”

Coach Dave Daubenmire is the President of Pass the Salt Ministries, Founder of Minutemen United and is a radio talk show host.

Contact Coach at 740-323-0871 or 740-507-3211 also coach@ptsalt.com

Zack better run to the huddle or risk getting benched.

Lickety-Split Links (082709, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:28 am

The list could be a mile long, but here’s a tiny sample:

  • Japan Today“Toyota tops list of new car sales under ‘cash-for-clunkers’ program in U.S.” At the 96% completion mark, according to Auto News, Toyota had three models in the top ten (#1, #3, and #7) and a 19.4% share, topping the 17.6% share of General Motors. Honda also had three top 10 entrants, while Ford had two. Nissan and Hyundai had one each. GM and Chrysler, whose share was an abysmal 6.6%, were shut out of the top 10.
  • From Life News“Ted Kennedy’s Passing Highlights Democrats Who Have Flip-Flopped on Abortion.” Call me idealistic, but I hope that the death of Ted’s staunchly pro-life sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver earlier this month made Mr. Kennedy re-think his outlook in time for his visit to his Maker.
  • Rick Karlgaard“The VW Recovery.” Read the whole thing.
  • Chris Stirewalt at the Washinton Examiner“The thrill is gone for Obama and the media.” LOL observation: “(Robert) Gibbs is so crabby because, incredibly, the administration blames the media for the president’s problems.” It’s never their fault.
  • Guy Benson, at Townhall“White House (e-mail address collection )Scandal: Unanswered Questions.” Good questions; I doubt they’ll ever be answered.

Priceless Indeed

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 6:58 am

From William Warren of Wake Forest:

priceless1

William Warren’s home page is here.

Positivity: Couple becomes first to get married at the new Yankee Stadium

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From New York:

Saturday, August 22nd 2009, 5:13 PM

A new team took over Yankee Stadium Friday – the Rajendrans – the first couple to tie the knot in the Bombers new ballpark.

Mike Rajendran and Joanna Rothschild got hitched before more than 250 relatives in The Bronx while their favorite team was taking on the Red Sox in Boston.

“As a tomboy,” said Joanna, 32, “this is the wedding I dreamed of all my whole life. It’s like magic.”

Smiling at his bride, who was dazzling in a form-fitting white lace, halter top dress, Mike said, “I just wanted something really special for her.”

Mike, 33, was fittingly decked out in a pinstriped blue suit.

The couple arrived at the stadium about 4 p.m. and got a tour of the place, taking enough pictures in spots like the dugout, infield and Memorial Park to fill a dozen photo albums.

At one point, Joanna gasped and exclaimed, “Oh, my God,” as she looked up at the Jumbotron and saw the message: Joanna and Mike – August 21, 2009.

Although the ceremony was supposed to take place on a concourse overlooking home plate, some raindrops forced everything inside.

The change didn’t faze the lovebirds, who swapped kisses as they walked to a drier place.
Inside, they embraced and enjoyed their first dance as husband and wife to Shania Twain’s “Forever and for Always.”

Although they only had eyes for each other, their pinstriped heroes weren’t far from their thoughts.

Told the Yanks were crushing the Bosox, Joanna gushed, “This really is magical. I knew they were going to win. It’s their wedding present to us.”

Go here for the rest of the story.