I received an email article in the mail this morning. It would seem that the author thinks marginal improvement should not have allowed trucks to be traded in under the Cash-for-Clunkers program. Read it and see what you think.
Billed as a way for the government to put more fuel-efficient vehicles on highways, the popular $3 billion “cash for clunkers” program mostly involved swaps of old Ford or Chevrolet pickups for new ones that got only marginally better gas mileage, according to an analysis of new federal data by The Associated Press. The single most common swap — which occurred more than 8,200 times — involved Ford F150 pickup owners who took advantage of a government rebate to trade their old trucks for new Ford F150s. They were 17 times more likely to buy a new F150 than, say, a Toyota Prius. The fuel economy for the new trucks ranged from 15 mpg to 17 mpg based on engine size and other factors, an improvement of just 1 mpg to 3 mpg over the clunkers, reports the Detroit Free Press. Owners of thousands more large, old Chevrolet and Dodge pickups bought new Silverado and Ram trucks, also with only barely improved mileage in the middle teens, according to AP’s analysis of sales of $15.2 billion worth of vehicles at nearly 19,000 car dealerships in every state.
Dealer F&I, November 6, 2009, Vol. 5, Issue 45
Here’s my beef. Trucks are a necessary part of the work force. I’ve worked on carpentry and masonry crews and know that you need a good truck to do the job efficiently. Keep in mind that a contractor may carry equipment, tools, and some of his workforce in his truck. You can’t expect a truck to reach Prius mileage. It’s just a different situation entirely. (Can you imagine a carpenter trying to haul 2 x 10s in a Toyota Prius?) Most work trucks have powerful engines and lower gearing to haul all that. That obviously results in lower gas mileage. So … shouldn’t we applaud any improvement in mpg?