One of the theories bandied about by anti-Cash for Clunkers groups was that once the stimulus program ended, car shopping would plummet. So far that has not been the case.
Activity on Cars.com has declined since Cash for Clunkers ended, but the current level of searches and interest for new cars on the site is equal to what the site experienced before the government program went into effect. Used-car activity is up 2 percent compared to pre-Clunkers levels. During the program, used-car interest was up 6 percent. That uptick illustrates how the overall car market was improving, not just new car sales spurred by the Clunkers program.
“It’s clear from looking at the traffic on our site and the resulting vehicle sales reports that the program solicited its desired response in new car shopping and certainly had a halo effect on the used car market,” said president of Cars.com Mitch Golub. “We believe this program helped to revitalize the marketplace and brought consumers back to market in a big way.”