WASHINGTON Toyota Motor Co. was the primary beneficiary of the U.S. government's "Cash for Clunkers" program, accounting for three of the top five models purchased by new car buyers, according to a new survey of the auto stimulus program.
Market researcher IBISWorld said Monday (Aug. 24), the day the auto sales program ended, that three Toyota models, the Corolla, Camry and Prius ranked first, fourth and fifth in sales, respectively. The Honda Civic (second) and the Ford Focus (third) rounded out the top five.
IBISWorld concluded that the government program did boost new car sales by about 700,000 units in 2009. Overall, 2009 auto sales are expected to decline by 20.5 percent, or 10.5 million vehicles. The program represents a "short-term fix [for the global auto industry], not a long-term solution," said auto analyst George Van Horn.
According to private estimates, 450,000 vehicles have been traded in for fuel-efficient cars under the Cash for Clunkers program.
The boost in new car sales came out the hides of used car dealers, IBISWorld found. The auto stimuls program is expected to account for 7 percent of the expected decline in 2009 used car sales, the market researcher said.
The top five vehicle trade-ins were, by rank: Ford Explorer, Ford F-150 truck, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee and the Dodge Caravan, IBISWorld found.
Toyota accounted for 18.9 percent of Cash for Clunker sales, followed by GM (17.6 percent), Ford (15.4 percent), Honda (12.9 percent) and Chrysler (9.1 percent).