Roger Alford on Clunkers and ... the WTO:

Over at Opinio Juris, Roger Alford has a short post on the cash for clunkers program and any issues that might arise under the WTO, including some interesting stats on what kinds of cars are being bought.

Man, people have bad taste in cars. Six of the top ten sellers are foreign, but seven are hideously ugly clunkers right off the lot… Subsidizing feel-good faux environmentalism while providing political payback is one thing, but paying for bad taste should be unconstitutional.
8.4.2009 7:43pm
Owen H. (mail):
Corollas are built in the US as well.

Were they supposed to require people to buy only from American-owned companies?
8.4.2009 8:34pm
DiverDan (mail):
I'm sure I'm not included in the stats, as I just now returned from my Hyundai Dealership, where I turned in my 1998 Ford Explorer POS for a 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring, taking my share of this Government Handout. Frankly, while I think the whole CARS deal was bad economics, and I would have voted against it in Congress, if Congress is going to vote for middle class give-aways (tax free, no less), then far be it for me to turn down the money. And it doesn't bother me at all that the primary beneficiaries are foreign auto makers - they are the ones making fuel efficient cars that have better fit &finish and better reliability than the domestic auto makers. Ford and GM have lost me as a consumer forever, with their arrogant behavior &piss poor quality. If they want to survive (assuming that Congress is smart enough to leave them free from politically driven decisions that will anchor them to the past, like forcing GM to hold onto all of those unprofitable dealers that it tried to jettison in Bankruptcy), they need to completely refocus on cars that the younger market will want &need, since those of us old enough to remember our first (second, third) new domestic car are unlikely to forget the hosing we took from Ford &GM, and unlikely to go back for another.
8.4.2009 9:51pm
Kenneth Anderson:
I have a 1992 Honda Civic. I'v'e always been cheap, bought it used. I don't suppose there is any way that car would qualify??? Very important bleg, for those of you who read the top of my p[revious post about the Kid and the Driver's License.
8.4.2009 9:56pm
I have a 99 Civic. My kids have wrecked it twice and have hammered the transmission. Still gets 40 MPG highway, but I'd swap it out for a good, government sponsored deal on a... 2009 Civic.
8.4.2009 11:01pm
DiversityHire (mail):
Prof. Anderson, you can walk through this site to find out.

Doesn't look like any 1992 Civic qualify.
8.5.2009 1:02am
karrde (mail) (www):

That list of available purchases doesn't include high-mileage beauties like the Honda Nighthawk.

Wikipedia claims a typical fuel economy of 70 mpg...and it probably sells at a price that would make it effectively free under a cash-for-clunkers program.

(On the other hand, it's a rare motorcycle that gets less than 30 mpg, and most motorcycle dealers likely won't take a car or van as a trade-in...)
8.5.2009 9:49am
Dan Anonymous:
Lots of "foreign" cars are built in the US. Lots of "domestic" cars are built in Canada and Mexico. All the distinction could be over where the headquarters are, and most consumers don't give a hoot about that at all.
8.5.2009 11:11am

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