We've all heard the about the Cash for Clunkers program--specifically, how it's slow to pay and is therefore causing some dealers to pull out of it, or how some people were claiming that the cars.gov website would allow the government full access to your personal computer--but the fact remains that new car sales are up as a result of this program. (As far as I know, neither of the Snowed family vehicles is eligible because, darn it, our mileage was too good to qualify.)
I hadn't really thought about the program very much until this morning, when I decided to pay attention to the new cars I was seeing on Manchaca Rd. (I could tell they were new, of course, because they didn't have license plates yet, though I suppose they could have had those new Texas plates I've seen in a few places.) In my relatively short drive to work, I noticed at least four plateless cars. Not surprisingly, one was a Ford Focus, which has proven to be quite popular. At least two others were "imports", that is, not one of the "Big 3" American automakers.
Not really a surprise to me? None of them were produced by partially-government-owned GM or Chrysler. Yeah, I wouldn't buy their cars either at this point.
(Disclaimer: the Snowed family vehicles were made, fittingly, by GM and Chrysler. Both were bought used, a long time ago.)