August 21, 2009

Fewer trucks, more hybrids, DOT says

U.S. motorists will see fewer light trucks on the road after the cash for clunkers program, the Department of Transportation said.

As of Friday morning, 84 percent of the vehicles traded in under the taxpayer-financed rebate program, formally called the Car Allowance Rebate System, have been light trucks, while a majority of the purchases involved cars, The Detroit News reported.

While only 4.5 percent of the vehicles sold under the rebate program were hybrids, 77 percent of the new hybrid owners traded in a truck or a sport utility vehicle, the department said.

Toyota Motors Corp. has sold the most cars under the cash for clunker program sales, accounting for 19.2 percent of all sales.

General Motors Co. was close behind with 17.7 percent of sales. Ford Motor Co. accounted for 15 percent, Honda Motor Co. 13.2 percent.

Fifth on the list was Chrysler with 10.6 percent.

The federal program gave car buyers up to $4,500 in rebates if the new vehicle purchased had improved fuel efficiency over their trade-ins. The government said the program would end after business hours Monday, as the program is running out of money.