Jump to content

Report: Obama urged to push Japan to open its cash-for-clunkers program to U.S.


Recommended Posts

REPORT: Detroit Three call Japan's cash-for-clunkers program unfair


The U.S. Car Allowance Rebate System (a.k.a. 'cash-for-clunkers') program was a short-term boon for automakers participating in our market. Sales went up, inventory went down and nearly 700,000 vehicles that would likely have otherwise ended up on used car lots were destroyed. And since the U.S. is essentially a free market where automakers around the globe are allowed to participate, Japanese and European automakers benefited from the program as well. In fact, Japanese automakers fared even better than their U.S. competitors, as Toyota, Honda and Nissan are said to have surpassed their market share with the program. A reported 319,000 of the 677,000 vehicles sold via cash-for-clunkers were from Japanese companies. But while the U.S. C4C program took place in a free market where everybody is able to participate, critics are complaining that the new Japanese program is anything but equal opportunity.


Japan is considered by many to be the world's most insular auto market, and its $3.7 billion government clunker program makes U.S. autos ineligible for government assistance. According to The Detroit News, the program, which the Japanese government is using to spur sales (which are down 17 percent versus 2008 levels), provides cash rebates of up to $2,830 for customers who turn in vehicles 13 years or older. Car buyers who don't turn in a vehicle can still get over $1,100 toward the purchase of a new vehicle. An estimated 87 percent of all Japanese vehicles are eligible for the program, while zero vehicles from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler will be eligible.


The DetNews is reporting that Motown automakers have written a letter to the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative calling for action on a matter that was called "another example of Japan continuing efforts to discriminate against imported vehicles." Carol Guthry of the U.S. Trade Representative told the newspaper that the government is working to resolve the issue, adding "our position remains that changes are necessary to give U.S. vehicles greater opportunity to qualify under Japan's program."


While we're not exactly import/export experts and we don't have any experience with foreign relations, we're thinking it's about time Japan treated foreign automakers in the Land of the Rising Sun with the same level of equality that its automakers receive elsewhere in the world. What do you think? Have your say in 'Comments.'

[source: The Detroit News | Image: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty]



Report: Obama urged to push Japan to open its cash-for-clunkers program to U.S.


Like everywhere else on the planet, new car sales are down in Japan (17 percent versus 2008 levels, to be exact). And, like a number of other countries, Japan has decided to spur automobile sales by creating a cash-for-clunkers-style program at a cost of $3.7 billion. Unlike similar programs from other countries, including the one that ended late last year in the U.S., Japan has drafted a set of rules that strongly favors its own automakers – in effect precluding American cars from qualifying for sales incentives of up to $2,830 per vehicle. Eighty-seven percent of all Japan's domestic models qualify.


By way of comparison, there were multiple C4C bills considered by U.S. policymakers, and the program that eventually went into effect allowed any and all sufficiently fuel efficient vehicles to qualify for its incentives, regardless of their country of origin. After it was all said and done, 319,300 out of a total of 677,000 (just about half) of all C4C sales were Japanese cars.


According to the Detroit News, a number of American lawmakers, including Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio, have called Japan's program "discriminatory and fundamentally unfair... unacceptable and outrageous." To highlight her displeasure over Japan's insular auto market – to wit, imports make up less than five percent of all new car sales in Japan – Sutton has introduced a bill this week urging President Obama to attempt to force Japan into including American automobiles in its C4C program. What are the chances of it passing? Something about snowballs comes to mind...


[source: Detroit News]



Protectionism in full swing once again in Japan. Why should their cars be eligible for cash for clunkers in the US, if American cars are not there. That is not free trade. Hopefully President Obama puts an end to this nonsense.

Edited by MTLskyline
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...