Early statistics from Hyundai Motor America on the U.S. government’s Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program, also known as “Cash for Clunkers,” show an average 59 percent fuel economy gain between the “clunker” and the new vehicle purchased. Hyundai estimates individual fuel consumption will decrease by 275 gallons per year, reducing fuel costs by nearly $680 annually at current gas prices.
As this program expands industry wide, the energy and cost savings could be considerable if these early trends hold for the 250,000 vehicle sales expected under phase one of the CARS program. Annual fuel consumption in the U.S. could decrease by 69 million gallons, reducing spending by a total of nearly $170 million on gasoline, and cutting CO2 emissions by more than 600,000 metric tons.
“While the figures are indicative of early trends only, it is clear that the program, at this stage, is very successful in getting old, low fuel economy vehicles off the road and replacing them with safer and greener vehicles,” said Hyundai Motor America President and CEO John Krafcik. “We think these economic and environmental benefits are so compelling, that they will induce Congress to expand or enhance the CARS program past its current endpoint.”
Additional statistics from the Hyundai sample prove further that the CARS program is truly removing “clunkers” from the road. Eighty three percent of the initial trades take in a truck, SUV or van and 86 percent of the new vehicles purchased are passenger cars. The average age of a trade-in model is nearly 14 years, and the average odometer reading is more than 140,000 miles. The average “clunker” achieves about 16 miles per gallon according to EPA data, while the average new car sold under the program achieves more than 25 mpg.
Hyundai became the first automaker to honor the government’s CARS incentives on July 2 and the novel consumer incentive program accounts for about 11 percent of Hyundai sales so far this month. Nearly a third (32 percent) of the trade-in models reported by dealerships were Ford vehicles, followed by Dodge (23 percent). Lexus, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz are among the other brands delivered as “clunker” trades, demonstrating both the broad appeal of the government program, and the changing nature of Hyundai’s product line and buyer demographics. Hyundai’s rollout enables buyers to receive the full rebate allocated under the CARS program when an eligible trade-in is exchanged for a qualifying Hyundai model at a participating Hyundai dealership.
The fuel-efficient Hyundai Elantra was the most popular model purchased under the CARS program, making up nearly 33 percent of sales. Elantra recently earned top honors in the 2009 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study for the highest initial quality in the compact car segment, and is a “Top Pick” from a leading consumer magazine. With manufacturer incentives and a full CARS rebate for a qualifying “clunker,” consumers can purchase a new Elantra for as little as $8,620. Sonata (27 percent) and Accent (19 percent) ranked second and third, respectively, in CARS transactions.
Hyundai accelerated CARS incentives to consumers by several weeks by backing dealerships with short-term cash advances as the government organized the rollout of the program industry-wide. Under the CARS program, consumers qualify for a $4,500 rebate on the purchase or lease of new vehicles that achieve 10 miles per gallon more than a trade-in car or five miles per gallon or more than a trade-in light truck. New vehicles that achieve between 4 to 9 mpg more than a trade-in car, or 2 to 4 mpg more than a trade-in light truck qualify for a $3,500 incentive. See www.cars.gov for complete details.
Thirteen Hyundai models and engine combinations qualify for the CARS incentive program, which requires passenger cars achieve 22 mpg or more combined fuel economy, and light trucks achieve 18 mpg or better combined fuel economy.
* Elantra Touring
* Sonata 2.4L
* Sonata 3.3L
* 2010 Genesis Coupe 2.0L
* Tiburon 2.0L
* Tucson 2.0L
* Tucson 2.7L
* Santa Fe 2.7L
* Santa Fe 3.3L
Five Hyundai models achieve 30 miles per gallon or more on the highway –Accent, Elantra, Elantra Touring, Genesis Coupe 2.0L and Sonata 2.4L. Hyundai ranks third in corporate average fuel economy according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, so consumers will realize further cost savings by stepping into a more fuel-efficient model than they currently drive.
The CARS incentive program complements all existing special incentives and financing options from the manufacturer, including Hyundai Assurance, which allows consumers to return their vehicle if they unexpectedly lose their income, and Hyundai Assurance Gas Lock, which offers a year’s worth of gas at a guaranteed price of $1.49 per gallon. Visit www.Hyundai.com