Though the US government’s Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), better known as “Cash for Clunkers,” has been a wild success with consumers and has boosted recent auto sales, fewer than half (45%) of cars purchased under the program are American brands, according to statistics from the US Department of Transportation (via US News & World Report).
Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administation revealed that the #1 vehicle being traded in under the program is the Ford Explorer, and all of the top 10 trade-ins are American-made vehicles. Eight of the top 10 are SUVs, while two are minivans.
New Cars Purchased
Though the American-made Ford Focus tops the list of autos being driven out of dealerships under the CARS program, only four of the top 10 models are manufactured by GM, Chrysler or Ford.
The high percentage of foreign brand purchases is not surprising to research consultancy BrandKeys. The firm’s ranking of brands with most loyal customers, completed earlier this year, showed that nine of the top 10 most environmentally friendly and fuel efficient auto brands are not American. Only Jeep, which ranked at #10,? made the list.
The Chicago Tribune reported last month that, for the first time, US auto rental companies are also buying more foreign vehicles than domestic brands.