Industry News & Trends

Cash for Clunkers Environmental Impact Survey

Joe2Jeff and Alex want to thank Joe Pistell for designing this survey.

Joe is the Marketing Director for the Sun Auto Group and a BIG participant on the DealerRefresh Blog. He is also one of the Moderators for the Inventory Control and Display section of the DealerRefresh forums.

This survey is designed to create factual environmental impact figures based on actual dealership business.  When completed, it will become a press release, so be sure to get your Dealership’s name in for some SEO exposure!

cash-for-clunkers-surveyDoes Cash for Clunkers save 193 MILLION GALLONS OF GAS A YEAR?

>> Take the Dealer Survey <<

Every Dealer and Automaker under the sun is seeing excellent traffic and strong sales from the Cash for Clunkers (CARS) program.  We all agree, the c4c rebate is a huge hit, but, just how green is the CARS program?

Does the CARS Program save 193 MILLION GALLONS OF GAS A YEAR?  Let’s run some hypothetical numbers and see what we have.

  • Average Clunker MPG: 17MPG
  • Average NEW car MPG: 24MPG
  • Average miles driven annually: 15,000
  • Destroyed Clunker drinks 882 gallons of gas a year
  • New, replacement car drinks 625 gallons of gas a year
  • Cash for Clunker Program saves 257 gallons of gas each year, per unit sold.
  • c4c Sales Estimate: 750,000 units

257 gallons times 750,000 sales gives us 193 MILLION GALLONS OF GAS SAVED…EACH YEAR. That’s 4.6 million barrels of oil we DON”T have to import (42 gals gas p/bbl of oil).

LESS Co2 too…
Using these projections, each new car produces roughly 4 tons LESS Co2 than the clunker. We’re looking at REMOVING 3million tons of Co2 per year.

Lastly, just how many years of life remains in these clunkers? 1,2,3,4??  Multiply the final results by the projected years of life remaining.

Want to Help?
We need your numbers NOW.  Review your C4C sales to date, create 2 lists.
List #1 is to find the MPG of your clunker trade-ins and average them.
List #2 is do the same for your new sales and average them too
(use the combined city/highway average)

Visit the EPA fuel economy page
Visit our CARS Program Survey page

When we gather enough data, we’ll submit a Press Release and see what happens!!!

>> Take the Dealer Survey <<

Thanks for putting this together Joe! I just submitted for Checkered Flag.
Thnx Alex. This is a HOT topic and this is a fresh look at the CARS sales results.

We need numbers from everyone ASAP.

I have worked with Phil LeBeau of CNBC before, I think he'll like this fresh look at CARS. Phil is the resident automotive journalist at CNBC and I admire his work a lot. I introduced Phil to Dale Pollak a few months ago to explore how dealers were surviving and a few were thriving by selling used cars.

Phil runs a great blog called "BEHIND THE WHEEL"

A sample of todays work, he interviews a top dog at Ford. Video:
I will also get the findings to Larry Printz (syndicated automotive journalist) and talk to Cliff Banks as well (Wards Editor)

There could be some very strong exposure for those who participate in the survey!
  • B
    Ben Koller
  • August 13, 2009
Your math assumes that people will drive the exact same mileage with their new more fuel-efficient vehicle. I believe this is an incorrect assumption. There are numerous studies that indicate people drive more when their vehicle is more fuel-efficient. Second, you need to take into account the fuel and CO2 emissions needed to destroy the clunkers. Don't want to criticize your work as I think it's a great idea, but I believe your end results would not be very "factual."
C'mon DR community, we need your C4C stats!

Cash for Clunkers overnight update:

2,112 clunker sales recorded:
--MPG Clunkers: 16.15
--MPG Noobs: 25.35
--Change: 9.2 mpg

WOW, on pace to save 250 MILLION gallons of gas per year.

I am so glad you're here to contribute to our Dealer Refresh community effort.

Gather your "numerous studies" on MPG induced driving behavior and be prepared to create a projection based on your findings. Be sure to include references.

As you mentioned, you will be able to support you research on the costs and pollution of destroying these units. Again, be prepared to create a projection based on your findings. Be sure to include references.
REMINDER! We need your C4C numbers, plz go to:

  • G
  • August 18, 2009
Joe- Great post. This is an amazing initiative in CO2 savings AND gas savings. Might it be pronounced enough of an impact to influence the price of oil? Perhaps time will tell.
Cash 4 Clunkers saves 232 million gallons of gas each year.

2,313 Crushed Clunkers counted
MPG Clunkers: 16.3
MPG New Units: 24.6
MPG Difference: +8.4 MPG

If driven 15,000 miles per year
if 750,000 Clunkers are Crushed

Each unit burns LESS gas, 310 gallons less.

That's 5.5 million barrels of crude that won't have to be imported.

That's 3 million tons LESS Co2.
Special thanks to all our participating dealers!

Reporters. Here are the survey participants that are OK to contact:

Joe Najar
[email protected]
Honda of Thousand Oaks

Alex Snyder
[email protected]
Checkered Flag

Jim Graves
[email protected]

Steven Moore
[email protected]
Sandy Springs Ford

Gerald Hand
[email protected]
O'Neal Auto Group
  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • August 19, 2009
So everyone knows, the survey is still open.

We will gather data as long as it is coming in. We would love to get your numbers.
I still can't get over that these cars are supposed to go to the junk yard. I spoke with a buddy the other day pulling radios and other parts off cars in the C4C lot. If you've ever been to a junk yard to get parts you know how bad for the environment these places are. Oil and anti-freeze seeping into the ground is no good.

Overall, C4C is nothing more than an stimulus package for the automotive industry, another way to move old inventory. At least that's all I see. My biggest fear is this will bring a lot of future potential buyers into the buying cycle and result in a lull in the coming months.
  • P
    pete condit
  • August 31, 2009
C4C will prove to be yet another government boondoggle.

Dealers will have one good month. The 4th quarter, IMO, will be one of the worst in the history of the industry since anyone that was even considering buying in the next year or so, just did.

This will wreak havoc with dealers.

Hope you folks saved all your commision checks from july, cause it's gonna be a pretty bad christmas for you.

As for the alleged fuel savings, once you figure in the costs to produce extra new cars, scrap perfectly good ones and the increase in miles driven by the former clunker owners, I think you will find the actual decrease to be pretty meager.

This money would have been much better spent improving public transportation and improving roadways to promote bicycle use.

I ride my bike over 12 miles to work somedays. Parts of this trip are on roads ill suited to bicycles with poor/non existent shoulders. Improving such roads to make them bicycle friendly would result in increased bicycle commuting which would also help the country's obesity problem.