A bunch of media articles have been published about the scant environmental benefits of the Cash for Clunkers program, not to mention that it kind of flies in the face of "reduce, reuse, recycle" if the "clunkers" in question are 1990's models that run perfectly well. The whole thing kinda smells boondoggle to me.
I think this is really another stimulus program for the auto industry, which isn't totally a bad idea, I suppose. And heck, the scrap yards have to be loving it, too.
As of Wednesday, according to an article in The Oregonian, the top clunker trade-ins are:
1. Ford Explorer 4WD,
2. Ford F150 pickup 2WD,
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD,
4. Jeep Cherokee 4WD,
5. Dodge Caraven/Grand Caravan 2WD,
6. Ford Explorer 2WD,
7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD,
8. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD,
9. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD,
10. Ford Windstar FWD Van.
Earth to Detroit. Earth to Detroit. Do you copy????
And what are clunker-trader-iners buying? Here's the list:
1. Toyota Corolla
2. Ford Focus
3. Honda Civic
4. Toyota Prius
5. Toyota Camry
6. Hyundai Elantra
7. Ford Escape 4WD
8. Dodge Caliber
9. Honda Fit
10. Chevrolet Cobalt
So folks are trading in SUVs, trucks and vans for smaller vehicles. Good trend. There are certainly people who need a larger or 4WD vehicle, but not for running to the store, going to work, etc.
I've always wondered how Detroit convinced consumers to buy these gas guzzlers in the first place. Let's dial back some years and take a peek into one of the Detroit Board Rooms, where a group of execs, almost all older men, are trying to figure out how to make money from a big vehicle.
Gentlemen, we've gotten all tooled up to manufacture these monster HumVees for the Pentagon, and there has to be a way to sell more of them.
Hmmmm, well Jim, maybe there's a way we can get consumers to buy them for a whole lot of money.
Wow, great idea John, maybe we could re-tool a bit and make them a bit more stylish, you know, leather seats, bright paint, lots of chrome - or better yet - black metal bars all over it.
Yeah, yeah...but it has to appeal to people with big money and, you know, it's gotta be sexy somehow.
Hey guys, what if we gave a couple of them to a prominent person, someone with popular appeal as a real man, like maybe a weight lifter-actor kind of guy.
Arnold, you know, Conan the Terminator.
Oh yeah, great idea.
But how do we broaden the appeal? Maybe even get women to buy in?
Easy. Look, guys will buy them because they exhibit power and domination, you know, the penis thing. "Hey, look at me, I'm drivin' a huge monster military machine; I'm powerful; I got a big dick!"
Yeah. And women will buy in out of penis envy - "Hey! Look at me, I'm just like a man, don't fuck with me or I'll fuck you up; brother!"
OK folks, I think we're on to something here. Now we just need to come up with a name, something that relates to the HumVee, that exhibits power, that invokes penis power and penis envy.....
What about.....the Hummer?