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Vehicle Scrappage Programs

Posted April 3 2009 07:20 AM by cmr/gclark 
Filed under: Editorials, Greg Clark

SEMA Comments on Vehicle Scappage Program

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) applauds efforts to help consumers, automakers and dealerships with a program to stimulate new car sales.

We support the concept of government-issued vouchers toward the purchase of fuel-efficient new vehicles and allowing consumers to deduct the car interest payments on their taxes.

However, SEMA continues to oppose tying these vouchers to vehicle scrappage programs, known as "cash for clunkers."  The programs accelerate the demise of older vehicles, which are then typically crushed into blocks of sheet metal.  Scrappage programs focus on a car's age rather than how much it is driven or its actual emissions.  SEMA has consistently warned against wasting taxpayer dollars on a program that may produce an artificial spike in sales, but does not reduce emissions or increase fuel efficiency.

Automakers and dealers need to sell cars in order to survive, but potential buyers have hit the brakes in these tough economic times.  Scrappage programs actually would deny vouchers to the majority of people who may want to buy a new car but don't have an eligible older car to trade.    Instead, these programs will be misused by those who own two or three older cars and seek to take advantage of the taxpayer give-away.  Many of these cars aren't frequently driven, if at all, so destroying them will not clean the nation's air or make us less dependent on foreign oil.

While supporters tout a similar German program as evidence of success, the European Federation for Transport and the Environment, (the pan-European federation of environmental groups), has urged Germany and other countries to abandon scrappage subsidies because they do more environmental harm than good by artificially accelerating the car life cycle.

Scrappage programs hurt thousands of independent repair shops, auto restorers, customizers and their customers across the country.  This industry provides thousands of American jobs and generates millions of dollars in local, state and federal tax revenues.  We encourage the President to help the entire auto industry with programs that focus the incentive where it counts - on the purchase of new vehicles and not destroying older cars.


OMG....every few months it seems that we are on the verge of classic car meltdown....I would think the great majority who own restored classics would love this idea! The value of there rides go up with each crushing because their's just got more rare!! I'm sorry but it seems to me the well is almost dry anyway, if you find an example of what you want it's usually a basket case, probably not really worth fixing, and may cost you a marriage on top of all your money. The way things are progressing with people's projects it won't make a difference. You can buy new skin, frame (tube), interior, and drive line parts to build a modern day, street pounding, LS breathing, light weight, awesome handling, asphalt ripping Pontiac GTO that looks like a 1965...but it ain't. You could buy a 1965 GTO minus motor and most people wouldn't waste the time restoring it cause the numbers don't match, they use it for parts! The other thing that happens is they build a resto rod with a modern day LS engine, poly parts, and even though it looks like a 65 in some area's it feels more like an over powered 90's Grand Prix GTP....Yes it's a shame that these pieces of American history are being crushed! However, most of them were just a piles of rust with barely anything left to show their once proud identity's. These cars would likely rust away completely into obscurity and no one would know. I'm not saying we should sit by and watch it happen....but unless we all rush out and buy, spot, and post every one we can find till our wives leave us, the dog hates us, and the kids have gone to community college, it's an unstoppable reality that the only classics that will be left will be the ones we own now. In case you haven't noticed we're loosing those to over sea's buyers! 68 Vette to Norway anyone? 72 SD T/A to Japan....VOMIT!! That trick 66 GTO down the street, yea Russia!!!So what are we to do that would be a permanent fix? Instead of having to re-fight the same battle over and over again what can be done?Anybody got legislation to protect cars older than 25 years from the crusher? Protect them like historical land marks?

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