Clunkers boosts Ford sales; GM, Chrysler fall

DETROIT (AP) -- The Cash for Clunkers program boosted sales at Ford, Toyota and Honda in August as consumers snapped up their fuel-
efficient offerings, but rivals Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co. withstood another month of falling sales.
Ford Motor Co. sold 181,826 cars and light trucks compared with 115,117 in August 2008, when high gas prices and growing economic uncertainty kept people away from showrooms.
Meanwhile, low supplies of fuel-efficient vehicles at Chrysler kept the automaker from benefiting more from the clunkers program, whose rebates encouraged customers to buy gas sippers in exchange for guzzlers with gas mileage of 18 mpg or less.
Chrysler sales fell 15 percent to 93,222 units.
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Pete E. Kruzer wrote:

Is that maybe why they stopped the program abruptly after approving a couple more billion for it? The government's two ass-kisser car companies weren't benefiting in spite of the non-free market deck being stacked in their favor.
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wrote:

No, the stopped it because the new money was used up that quickly.
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Ashton Crusher wrote:

Wow - that was fast. Have the dealers started to see the money yet?
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wrote:

From all the news I hear it's pretty slow. It's taking as much as 30 days to get the paperwork thru the system.
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Ashton Crusher wrote:

Ashton, From what I heard, the program was actually a success, almost 700K cars sold. A friend of my wife's husband works at a Kia dealer and lots of people were in buying the low-line Rio and other low price cars, using the full $4500. Dealers will get the money, but it takes time to accomplish with that much paperwork! The government probably didn't expect this program to be the success it was! This is one of the stimulus programs that they should have kept! It kept car dealers and their employees going, it sold product, even if it was mostly foreign makes(hey, the employees live here and have to eat). It is funny: most car dealers are big time Republicans, and it is the Republicans in Congress who bitched about the program! If more stimulus had actually gone to manufacturing jobs like this one, maybe we would be on the road to recovery. Hell, every government in Europe/Asia subsidizes their auto industry to some extent. In Canada, the program really helped the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Windsor, Ontario plant kept three shifts going!
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Actually they cut back a shift, then had to shut down during the reorganization due to parts shortages. Vans became very difficult to get. Now they are back to 3 shifts and own the mni van market again. The only Chrysler van not selling well is the bunch (20,000 I hear) that Chrysler built for VW.
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Owns? The Odyssey outsells both the Caravan and T & C (although their combined sales top the Odyssey). Further, Honda has far fewer fleet sales than Chrysler.

Well, no VWs sell all that well in the US these days.
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In article

Here in Canada the VW new 2.0L diesel sells very well. It's fuel mileage is similar to the Prius in Real World measurements.
In the previous several years the Golf has sold very well.
VW is building a new plant in the USA, so there must be a good demand for VW products.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

So, they do indeed own that market (which they created in the first place). Its silly to separate the Caravan and T&C just to give honduh a "win." But honduh is following Chrysler's lead from 15 years ago- today its honduh minivans that can't keep a transmission together for more than 50k miles it seems.
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But that's why Ford wins the "pickup sales race" some years -- GM's sales are split between Chevy and GMC. If the maker chooses to split the models, they can hardly complain about the sales being split. It happens -- Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sales were never lumped together, for example.

Not according to what the owners report to Consumer Reports -- I suggest you check which make has lots of red circles and which lots of black ones.
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GM can't complain when Ford does it in their advertising. But if somebody in a GM group were to claim Ford trucks outsell GM because they outsell GMC, I'd hope someone would correct it.

I hadn't heard abut Honda's transmissions before, but CR is a completely non-credible source.
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Yeah, I mean who cares what the actual owners, thousands of them, say? What a person here claims another person said is so much more reliable.

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Who cares what a self-selected sample, in violation of every principle of polling, says? Not me. A person I've known on-line for years (and met a couple of times in person) as a very reliable source of information is so much more, well, reliable.
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Yeah, who says the evaluations of thousands is more reliable than that of one?
(You obviously know nothing about polling.)

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writes:

Dude, it's common knowledge that CR is biased towards imports. Do you even know what self-selecting is all about? Let me illustrate here.
A ragazine I'll call Crap Reports or CR for short, has a circulation of 100.
All of that 100 people get eval surveys.
20% of the 100 people buy imports. 50% of the people who buy imports have problems with them and are dissatisfied with the factory resolution, and so are highly motivated to complain. That's 10 people if you can't do the math. The other half of the import buyers are generally satisfied and so aren't motivated to complain or praise.
80% of the 100 people buy domestics. 20% of them have problems and are highly motivated to complain. That's 16 people if you can't do the math. The other 64 people are generally satisfied and so aren't motivated to complain or praise.
The surveys go out. The dissatisfied people in both the import and domestic groups get the survey and think "Ha, this is my chance to stick it to that jerkoff car company" So, all of them sit down and put black marks over the entire survey about their vehicle.
The satisfied people aren't much motivated to spend a lot of time responding to a dumb survey, so only 2% of them respond.
CR gets the surveys back. The domestics return 16 surveys full of vitrol, and 12 surveys that are generally satisfied. The imports return 10 surveys that are full of vitrol and 2 surveys that are generally satisfied.
CR then calculates the results as follows:
28 domestic owners responded 12 import owners responded 60 non-respondents
CR assumes the market is split 50-50 between imports and domestics, (since it's obviously rediculous that everyone doesn't have a car) so there must be 50 imports and 50 domestics out there. Since it's also well known that happy people mostly aren't going to waste time responding, the response rate on happy people is low, so they toss those responses completely.
So they arrive at the following assumptions:
32% of domestic owners have problems with their cars (16/50)
20% of import owners have problems with their cars (20/50)
Therefore, Imports win.
In reality, although 75% of domestic owners are satisfied, only 50% of the Import owners are satisfied.
REAL polls handle this skewing by several mechanisms:
1) They remove the influence of the self-selection. Think about it. People that buy Crap Reports are likely to be poorer. Rich people with plenty of money don't care about getting the "best deal" they just buy what they want and sell it before the warranty runs out. And since they are buying the most expensive cars, if they have a problem the dealership rolls out the red carpet on a warranty service to the point that they will drive a vehicle to the rich guy's house and tow off his new car that won't start. (or whatever) You get that when you walk into a dealership and drop a personal check for $60K down on a car. You don't get that when you walk in and finance a $10K car and expect to get $500 off on your worn out trade-in. Thus rich people aren't wasting time with CR and aren't answering surveys. Thus, the CR surveys are going to be heavily weighted with cheaper car models. A real polling org calls a demographic so that they get a response from across the spectrum.
2) The apply statistical normalizing. To put it simply, it's impossible to know on a self-selected survey what the actual penetration of a car model is into the survey group. You would have to call everyone in the CR subscriber group and ask them what kind of car they had, and even then the results would only be accurate for the CR demographic, which isn't applicable to the general public.
3) They use opposite questions to see if the subject is paying attention. For example a typical CR survey asks "On a scale of 1 to 10 how satisfied are you with your car" then continues on. A real survey would ask this same question, then about 20 questions later would ask "on a scale of 1 to 10, how dissatisfied are you with your car" If the subject is paying attention then he would put a 2 on the second question if he had put an 8 on the first question. If the subject was just trying to rush through the survey to get the "prize" for completing the survey, then the answers for the 2 questions would likely both be an 8 but certainly would not mirror each other. A real survey would toss that respondent.
Anyway, the Crap Reports ragazine doesn't do any of that which is why their survey results are rubbish. In fact, you can apply several reasonably- sounding analysises to the above raw numbers and get completely opposite and self-contradictory results.
Ted
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<snip>
Wow -- very nice discussion. I just figured he wasn't worth responding to again.
Incidentally, while the problems are claimed to be fixed now, it turns out Honda transmissions earlier this decade were so bad there was a class-action lawsuit and settlement.
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And the facts are...?...
DAS
To send an e-mail directly replace "spam" with "schmetterling"
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"Ted Mittelstaedt" < snipped-for-privacy@toybox.placo.com> wrote in message
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The facts are that CR must sell magazines to make money, and nothing sells them better than attention-grabbing headlines. And it never fails to grab attention to write a headline that trashes something that the majority of people like.
There have always been more domestics on the road than imports - although that is changing - so if your going to piss off people to get them to pay attention to you, then it works best if you piss off the greatest number of people. Thus, CR doesn't write headlines like "Yugo car is worst in customer service" because hardly anyone owns a Yugo. Instead they write headlines that trash domestics so that they piss off and get the attention of the most possible people.
Ted
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Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

Yes, there is something that sells better than attention-grabbing headlines.
That is - writing headlines that appeals to a certain base. Writing stuff that is in agreement and supports exactly what a certain demographic thinks about a given subject.

Some of those in that majority will want to read something like that. Most will simply be repulsed by it.
How many right-wing conservatives do you think are attracted to (and therefore will buy) a book with the title "God is not great" (author Christopher Hitchens) ? I'm thinking not many.

The same would be true if they wrote "Yugo is best in customer service" - because there are not many prospective magazine customers who are also Yugo owners or potential owners.

No, they write headlines that trash domestics in order to align themselves with the mindset of the under-30 crowd (who also believe domestics are trash) so that crowd will purchase the rag in question, read the article, and get a buzz of endorphins as their belief system is reinforced by the magazine.
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