Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bookend to Cash 4 Clunkers

I wrote a bit more then I probably should have about the Clunkers program back when it was going on. What strikes me is that I never really came to any strong conclusion to what it did or accomplished.

I'm happy that it jump started some production facilities around the country. I say "some" because it was only that. Really what the program did was allow auto makers and sellers to reduce inventory. Because most of the facilities stayed closed all the way through the program (and still are now) dealerships have somewhat of a shortage on there lots and there are not enough buyers now to up production. It's unfortunate because the potential new car buyers now are the ones that can actually afford a new car. This is one of those take the good with the bad scenarios. People that probably should have purchased a used car bought a new one and dealerships are stuck with poor selling cars.

GM is still mostly shutdown. Workers are still idle save for the ones working on the new Camaro (Delphi is still chugging along adding ballast to the Camaro because the rear brakes were designed poorly). Honda up in Marysville, Ohio is still cutting hours too.

It's reported that the Government spent $24k for every clunker traded in (Edmunds). But I believe the math required to figure out if the program was successful or not is too complex to boil down to any number.

I know this sounds like rambling and that's because it is. Nothing about this program can be pinned down as bad or good and there in lies the problem with it... it's failure. I do not believe you can start something without clearly defined goals to achieve. It's sort of like we just did this program to do something. Anything.

It's frustrating in the workplace and frustrating when it is tax dollars in the government.

It does not make sense to me.

As a Post Script I'll mention something that I didn't mention. The picture. In my adventures in trying to get an old 1988 Camaro running I ran into people that this program directly affected in regards to the destroying of perfectly running vehicles that otherwise would have been donated or kept by families struggling with debt or sold to someone inexpensively that otherwise couldn't afford a car to get to that temp job at GM. That picture up there is disgusting and it happened all over the country.

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