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  #11  
Old 08-07-2009, 01:11 PM
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Here's another article for you, explains the '88 caprice a little more. I guess they're going to try to resell it and just eat the $4500 they gave for the trade..
from http://www.pddnet.com/news-dead-clunker-rolling-080709/

"I like new stuff," said Pulce, 19, of Chicago



Quote:
Dead Clunker Rolling
By DON BABWIN,Associated Press WriterFriday, August 07, 2009 Digg Delicious Google It furl It Technorati Email Print Share [-] Text [+] Read/Post Comments


A crane lifts a flattened van to a shredder at Gershow Recycling Corp. in Medford, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009. Many of the scrapped vehicles are part of the "cash for clunkers" program. The Senate is poised to pump $2 billion more into the popular "cash-for-clunkers" program after agreeing to give shoppers until Labor Day to make a deal on more energy-efficient models. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)



Cars from the “cash-for-clunkers” program wait in line at Gibson Chevrolet for their sodium silicate poison at the scrap yard.

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (AP) — They were waiting down at Gibson Chevrolet near Chicago for a couple of five-gallon cans of sodium silicate — liquid glass, they call it — to poison and kill the clunkers when the latest condemned car pulled up.

The 1999 Ford Explorer with 140,000 miles was still sturdy. It had some body damage, including a mangled front bumper, but nothing that couldn't be fixed.

Gabrielle Pulce wasn't thinking about that. She wasn't sentimental about all the trips taken in the Explorer or about how in a few days the SUV will be squished until it's about as tall as a toaster.

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"I like new stuff," said Pulce, 19, of Chicago.

She is among the thousands of people across the nation who have taken advantage of the government's "cash-for-clunkers" program. One after another, they've pulled up to dealerships in gas guzzlers and pulled out in gas sippers after getting rebates up to $4,500 for a new car — like the more efficient Chevy Equinox SUV bought for Pulce by her mother.

The program has breathed new life into the dealership, which sold more vehicles since the program began than in all of June. But for jalopies like the Explorer, it's the end of the line.

Out back at Gibson Chevrolet south of Chicago there's a growing conga line of clunkers — 17 in all this week.

All of them made it here under their own power — a requirement of the program is that they all be drivable. But if this were a hospital, their conditions would range from good to critical.

Among those in better shape is a maroon 1987 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, with matching maroon velour seats. It is the kind of land whale that once dominated the roadways. It is also a reminder that while $4,500 off on a new car is enticing, it also means losing an old friend.

"I cry before I came out here, I cry," said Clorinda Tomasi, who just before her 83rd birthday traded the Caprice for a new Malibu. "I been thinking of this since a few years ago, but I always got cold feet."

One vehicle in Gibson's waiting line is beyond a clunker: a 1987 Ford Econoline van. Road salt has left its lower edges looking like a voracious animal chewed on them. The driver's door stays closed only with help from a latch like those used to lock garden sheds. And it's unclear what would fall off if not for the yards of duct tape along the windshield and throughout the interior.

"He said his wife was celebrating already," said Dave Gibson, one of the dealership's owners, clearly impressed with the efforts to keep the van alive.

All the clunkers face the same fate.

"We'll drain the engine of oil and pour in two quarts of the sodium silicate and run the engine until it seizes," said Gibson, whose grandfather opened the dealership more than 50 years ago.

Then it's off to one of two nearby wrecking yards owned by Vito Mistretta.

But Mistretta isn't quite ready for the new batch of cars. The program has triggered an avalanche of work.

Tow truck drivers have been picking up vehicles at dealerships all over the Chicago area and dropping them off at his scrap yards in Gary, Ind., and Calumet City as fast as they can.

Once there, a forklift picks up each vehicle and impales the gas tank on a spike, causing the gasoline to spill into a large bowl below.

The vehicle is then put into what looks a like a bathtub where the forklifts stab at the engine, plucking out the radiator and other parts, which are later recycled or turned into scrap.

Finally, the car reaches its final destination: the mouth of the crusher.

The vehicle is placed inside what looks like a motorhome as a massive slab of steel descends. What happens next sounds like a slow-motion car crash: Glass shatters. Metal bends and snaps. Tires pop, letting out a whoosh of air.

The crusher "flattens a car into 8 inches to a foot," Mistretta said.

After three or four cars are flattened, the fork lift picks them up and stacks them in another part of the yard, where they will be loaded into trucks and taken to a facility to be shredded.

Mistretta said workers are pulling off a few things like headlights and hoods to be sold later, but, "There's so many, there's no time to really do that."

"We're keeping everybody here until 8, 9 at night," he said. His two machines at each of his yards crush a total of about 100 vehicles a day.

The clunker crushing isn't going to let up anytime soon.

"We've got about 700, 800 cars out there," he said of the cars still parked at Gibson and other dealerships.

One car the yard may not get is another Caprice Classic that Gibson's Chevrolet took in.

This one is a 1988 model with just 37,000 miles and not so much as a dent or a torn seat or any sign of wear in the plush tan carpeting.

"The older employees, they lost sleep at night thinking this car is going to get cubed," Gibson said.

So, while they push through documents on the other vehicles, this one sits among the used cars, an American flag on the antenna, the word "Clean" on the windshield.

No cash-for-clunkers paperwork has been submitted on it. The hope is that somebody will pay something close to the $4,500 the dealership gave the owner toward a new car so it can be sold simply as a trade-in.

As of Thursday, they had no offers. But employees did spot people outside taking pictures of the car.
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2009, 01:51 PM
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Have you guys though about the increase in average consumer debt as a result of this program? If they "trade-in" 900K cars with an average net consumer price of $14k that is an increase of debt of ~$12.6B dollars. This hardly seems like a good way to get people to live within their means.
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2009, 02:04 PM
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Good point, Jeff.

And hey, the additional $2 Billion is official now, if you hadn't heard...

Quote:
UPDATE: Obama OKs ‘Cash-For-Clunkers’ $2B Refill
By Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer
Manufacturing.Net - August 07, 2009






WASHINGTON (AP) -- Car shoppers caught up in the frenzy of the "cash-for-clunkers" program now have more time and a $2 billion reason to trade in their old gas guzzlers.

President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a measure tripling the budget of the $1 billion incentive program that has drawn big crowds to formerly deserted showrooms. The Senate on Thursday passed the legislation extending the 2-week-old program into Labor Day and preventing it from running out of money.

"Now more American consumers will have the chance to purchase newer, more fuel-efficient cars and the American economy will continue to get a much-needed boost," Obama said in a statement hailing the vote.

The extra money, approved by the House last week, is aimed at helping automakers and spurring the economy while removing the least fuel-efficient vehicles from the road. Last week, the government said the program's funding would be exhausted by Friday if it was not replenished.

Through late Tuesday, the most recent data available, more than $775 million of the original $1 billion had been spent, accounting for the sale of nearly 185,000 new vehicles. Administration officials estimate the new money will last into Labor Day and could prompt another 500,000 vehicle sales.

Dealers said the additional money would help them maintain a sales pace they haven't seen in months and continue to benefit from heavy publicity surrounding the rebates. Car dealers saw an uptick in sales in July, when Ford Motor Co. achieved its first year-over-year sales increase since November 2007.

"People are still coming in. It's like everyone out there has been given the green flag," said John Rogin, who runs a Buick dealership in Livonia, Mich.

Senate opponents of the program, most of them Republicans, question its effectiveness and cost. They contend the funding is leading the government to pick winners and losers and that many car buyers, stoked by speculation about the program last spring, simply held off buying until the incentives started in July.

"These buyers would have bought the cars anyway," said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who opposed the plan.

Auto industry analyst Aaron Bragman of IHS Global Insight said it was unlikely that demand will remain as high as it is now. Many people who qualified have already bought cars and while the rebates are expected to boost total vehicle sales in 2009, Bragman predicted lower sales next year because many customers have already taken advantage of the incentives.

"You are not going to see a continuation of the frenzied sales pace," Bragman said. "I don't think they will use up that money any time soon."

Under the program, passenger car owners are eligible for a voucher worth $3,500 if they trade in a drivable vehicle that got a combined city/highway mileage of 18 miles per gallon or less when it was new for a new car getting at least 22 mpg. Vouchers of $4,500 are available for owners who trade in a passenger car that got 18 mpg or less combined for a model that gets at least 28 mpg. Owners of old SUVs, pickups and vans can take advantage of similar benefits. Dealers ensure the traded-in vehicles are crushed and shredded.

"The reality is this is a program that has been working," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

Automakers are planning for a boost in sales. Hyundai Motor Co. has added a day of production at its Montgomery, Ala., factory, while General Motors Co. and Ford are considering following suit.

"Consumer confidence is really what you need here," said Tom Stephens, GM's vice chairman of global product development. "It's hard for them if they don't know if they have a job or a for-sure paycheck to go out and make a major purchase, so I think this is kind of jump-starting some things."

AP Special Correspondent David Espo in Washington, AP Auto Writers Tom Krisher in Traverse City, Mich., and Dan Strumpf in New York and AP Business Writer Stephen Manning contributed to this report.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:28 PM
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it's all about "perceived value" or as some say, one man's trash is another's treasure. I hate this program as well, even though my father in law is having his worst year in 30 some years in the business until this program started. Another point though is that the salvage yards are full to capacity already, except for the pick - n - pulls.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendocino View Post
Have you guys though about the increase in average consumer debt as a result of this program? If they "trade-in" 900K cars with an average net consumer price of $14k that is an increase of debt of ~$12.6B dollars. This hardly seems like a good way to get people to live within their means.
I've thought about that, too. Usually it's cheaper to repair an old car that you own rather than drive a new car that the bank owns.

Not always though. My advice: don't buy a used Audi. DAMHIK.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:35 PM
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the real fault of this program, is that the people who need to get rid of their clunkers don't have enough of a revenue stream to afford a new car... if you look at the demographics of who is taking advantage of this program, you will find it is mostly solid middle to upper middle class. People who could have probably bought a car without the 3500/4500 dollars, sold their old well maintained vehicle to someone who needed one, and so on and so on.
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  #17  
Old 08-07-2009, 04:06 PM
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It is taking those well maintained used vehicles from those sellers getting new cars and sending them to the crusher which is going to pretty much **** in the pool of used cars the less fortunate or credit challanged buyers have to pick from futher screwing the lower middle class.
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  #18  
Old 08-07-2009, 04:10 PM
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The other huge negative impact is that all of these cars that are loaded with perfectly useable parts are being crushed and shredded. It's already hard enough to keep an older rig running without decreasing the pool of good used parts by crushing everything. So wasteful!
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:24 PM
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Unfortunately those who could afford to buy without the stimulus are jumping at this program. Dealers are matching the stimulus dollars to sweeten the deal in a lot of cases. In two months the car industry is going to see a huge decline in sales when this program finally dries up....what then?

It is truly unfortunate that the Gov't did not buy these cars with the intention to offer them up to the underprivileged much like subsidized housing.

I wonder how many pos the Xzibit's show "Pimp my Ride" found the crusher???????? That would be a worthy statistic!
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:52 PM
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It's wealth redistribution, plain and simple. Take from the taxpayer and give to the rich bankers and to the auto industry. During the campaign, Obama promised he'd redistribute income. Socialism, plain and simple.
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