Last post on Apr 01, 2009 at 1:40 PM
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#9 of 16 Re: A National "Clunker Plan"- Bad For Classic Enthusiasts? (Mr_Shiftright)
Jan 17, 2009 (1:50 am)
Wouldn't raising the gasoline tax be a simpler, less bureaucratic and more cost efficient way to apply "incentive economics?"
#10 of 16 Re: A National "Clunker Plan"- Bad For Classic Enthusiasts? (Mr_Shiftright) [hpmctorque]
Jan 17, 2009 (9:29 am)
Of course, but logic and public policy have an inverse relationship.
Gas taxes hit everyone, and anything called a "tax" creates howls, so this kind of scheme is friendlier for politicos, and it takes on a half-baked "green" charade at the same time.
#11 of 16 Points For Collector Enthusiasts To Consider...
Apr 01, 2009 (6:31 am)
The following is from AutoWeek:
By BOB GRITZINGER AND GREG KABLE
"Cash for clunkers: it's been tried in Europe, but would it work in America? One proposed solution to prop up new-car sales in the United States involves paying bonuses to owners of older vehicles who send their cars to the scrapyard and buy new ones.
Proponents say that not only does the auto industry benefit, but so does the environment, as emissions decrease and fuel economy typically improves in newer models.
Critics, however, say that scrapping older vehicles hurts collectors by reducing the number of older models available and also hurts those least able to afford to buy newer vehicles by driving up the price of used cars.
'It definitely could have a negative effect on the collector community,' said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty Insurance, which specializes in insuring collector vehicles. 'What’s sitting out there now that’s not too appealing that might be a collector in the future? Lots of future collector cars could be destroyed.'
Hagerty and others say that the scrappage idea really is an auto-industry bailout masquerading as a green program--most cars scrapped are more likely to be the third or fourth cars in a family, which are rarely driven and therefore contribute little to environmental problems.
'Scrappage programs don’t work. They affect collectors, hobbyists and lower-income people,' said Stuart Gosswein, director of regulatory affairs for the Specialty Equipment Market Association, an automotive aftermarket group. 'Our mantra has been to just give vouchers to people to buy a new or a better used car, without tying it into scrapping an older one.'
As proposed, the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save bill, or the CARS Act, would offer vouchers ranging from $3,000 to $7,500 to owners of vehicles eight years old or older to scrap their cars and buy new models that are more efficient, including electric cars. Variations on the theme limit the vouchers to buyers of North American-built models, or the vouchers pay less to those who buy foreign-built vehicles. But the central idea--a sliding payment scale based on the fuel efficiency of the replacement vehicle--is consistent in seeking to boost struggling auto sales under the guise of improving fleet fuel economy and lowering emissions.
It sounds promising, and results from a similar idea in Germany show that the kind of money the U.S. government is suggesting would be enough to move a lot of people out of their old clunkers and into new sheetmetal.
In Germany, the program, known as Umweltprämie (literally, 'environmental rebate'), appears to have produced a 21 percent increase in February car sales compared with the same month in 2008, according to the German Automobile Association. In the midst of what some call the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the 278,000 new passenger cars registered in Germany in February represented the single biggest volume for that month in more than a decade.
Dealers say strong sales demand continued in March, with buyers hoping to get in on the program, which rewards car owners who scrap vehicles that are more than nine years old and subsequently purchase new ones with a payout equal to about $3,388. The program has been so successful that the government has voted for additional funding (beyond the $2 billion already exhausted) to extend it through the end of 2009. Other European countries may follow suit, although a more modest French plan that offered about a $1,762 scrapping rebate didn’t prevent France’s new-car sales from dropping 13 percent in February.
Even if such a scheme gained traction in North America, there are no guarantees that it would bolster production in North American factories. The German program boosted sales of the German-built Opel Corsa, but the majority of sales have come from cars such as the Volkswagen Polo, which is built in Spain.
Critics of Germany’s scrapping program also argue that it has begun to affect the profitability of small businesses. Local auto mechanics are up in arms, saying that the policy robs them of potential business by taking older, higher-maintenance cars off the road.
Germans also are concerned about seeing sound but aging cars disappear.
'It breaks my heart seeing perfectly good versions of the Golf GTI going to the press,' said one Volkswagen Golf GTI fanatic. 'They’re highly sought after by collectors, but all their owners care about is receiving written confirmation from the scrapyard so they can collect their rebate.' "
#12 of 16 Re: Points For Collector Enthusiasts To Consider... [hpmctorque]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Apr 01, 2009 (8:44 am)
Hagerty's argument is weak. Back in "the old days", people were very naive about what was collectible and what wasn't. But now it is very obvious within ten years time if a car is going to be valuable or not. Sure there might be a handful of people who would lament the crushing of a rusted out, tattered '82 Thunderbird, but it is a worthless thing, so what's the problem? Do we cater to the whims of a cult of ten people?
Also, do we REALLY think that someone would "accidentally" crush a Buick GNX or an '96 Impala SS or a 90s Mustang Cobra?
Miatas are already 19 years old and you can still buy a decent one for $2000. When exactly is this collectibility for this car about to start? 2050?
However, in the year 1989, a 1970 MGB or Lotus would not have been thrown to the junkyard if it was anything more than a carcass.
Collectors today are far more educated than 30 years ago IMO. They know what to keep and what to throw away, except for the "hoarders" of useless backyard junk, but that's a different issue.
The market, and restoration costs, determine what is saved. Fixing up old cars is certainly not going to suddenly get cheaper. If it is totally implausible to restore a 1990 Oldsmobile now, it's not going to get any more cost effective in the future, that's for sure.
Back when cars were made in bewildering variety, it made sense to save an old 4-door rusted out '55 Buick, because the '55 Century convertible could use some of the bits and pieces. But nowadays, this is hardly the way modern cars are built.
#13 of 16 Re: Points For Collector Enthusiasts To Consider... [Mr_Shiftright]
Apr 01, 2009 (8:47 am)
Collectors today are far more educated than 30 years ago. They know what to keep and what to throw away, except for the "hoarders" of useless backyard junk, but that's a different issue.
Hey, at least all my backyard junk still runs! Well, except for my '76 LeMans, which can't be coaxed out of the garage.
While nobody would accidentally crush a Grand National, for instance, I could still see the point. A regular old Regal base or Limited doesn't have much value. However, if someone was trying to fix up a Grand National, say one that had some body damage, every old regular Regal that gets crushed is one less parts source.
Now if the thing is already clapped out and knocking at death's door, I won't shed a tear. But I don't like the idea of cars that are still useable getting crushed.
#14 of 16 Re: Points For Collector Enthusiasts To Consider... [andre1969]
Apr 01, 2009 (9:09 am)
It would be cool if the scrapped cars could be held for a short period while enthusiast groups are allowed to feast on the old heaps. The gubbamint could even make some money out of this by selling parts or selling entire cars with some kind of agreement that they would just be used for parts. This would keep anything worthy
from being destroyed, and would help out the good survivors by putting some parts into the stream.
I have a hard time not being leery of adopting something identical to what the aimless German government wants.
#15 of 16 Re: Points For Collector Enthusiasts To Consider... [fintail]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Apr 01, 2009 (9:18 am)
We can't keep this old stuff lying around. There's more and more of it every year. There's no room for it. Storage space and garage space is getting expensive everywhere but the boonies, and the boonies are not the likely place to store valuable old cars.
Old cars that are hoarded just get ruined anyway. They are in a sense being "junked" but more slowly
Besides, on any really popular collectible, the aftermarket is extremely active. One needn't ever worry about finding a part for a mustang or a camaro or a miata or a MINI or a BMW or a Benz or countless other potential or real collectibles.
#16 of 16 Re: Points For Collector Enthusiasts To Consider[Mr_Shiftright] (andre1969)
Apr 01, 2009 (1:40 pm)
"Now if the thing is already clapped out and knocking at death's door, I won't shed a tear. But I don't like the idea of cars that are still useable getting crushed."
I agree completely on this, and there will be many 8, 9 and ten year old, relatively low mileage cars that will be destroyed, along with the older, clapped out ones. Why? Mainly, to make jobs for UAW workers and to help the dealers, at the expense of the independent mechanics and auto supply stores that provide parts for and service older vehicles.
Also, the legislation that's being proposed will not permit the guy who drives a fuel efficient '90 Geo Metro to get a trade-in subsidy, but will reward those who bought gas guzzlers. And let's remember where this money will come from - you, me and the owner of that Metro.