By David Thomas on August 2, 2010
Cash for Clunkers infused $1 billion into car shoppers’ hands at the end of July 2009, boosting overall sales numbers for nearly every automaker during one of the industry’s worst periods in recent history.
We wrote a number of times during the program that sales of inexpensive cars did well because folks were looking for the best deal. Inexpensive cars also tend to be small cars. Fast-forward to July 2010, and sales numbers were significantly higher than the government-incentivized numbers of July 2009. If that isn’t a sign of recovery, the uptick in sales of more expensive non-luxury and family cars should be.
The best example of this boost can be found in family-friendly vehicles like crossovers and even minivans. Honda saw sales overall fall from last year, mainly because its big sellers Accord and Civic took hits, down 17.9% and 25.5%, respectively. The small Fit was also down 29.8%, but the Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV saw big spikes of 37.8% and 45.4%, respectively despite starting prices around $27,000.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David