US Car Makers Lie About Japan's Cash For Clunkers Scheme

Blatant lie exposed: The US car industry must really be in deep trouble when they claim that Japan's program to help car owners change their old vehicle to a newer one is unfair, claiming that the program makes "the vast majority of imports ineligible for the program's significant tax cut benefit, regardless of the vehicle's fuel efficiency."

I'm no fan of cars but the rules here do not in any way discriminate against foreign cars. So this is just another ruse from Detroit, which is now going around the internet, making ordinary Americans angry and risking their high blood pressure even more than, say Tiger Woods or Medicare legislation. Come on, read the rules, there is not a word that says "Japanese cars only". All old cars are eligible, and all new ones apply, as long as you buy one that is more fuel efficient.

The American government has a trade representative, the USTR, an office that I don't really understand the meaning of, except that they usually try to pry foreign markets open, and they usually do it in a "shoot first, ask later" kind of way. However, they are now getting into the mess as well:

Carol Guthrie, a spokewoman for the U.S. Trade Representative, said the government was working to address the issue. "USTR is continuing to raise this issue with the Japanese government. Our position remains that changes are necessary to give U.S. vehicles greater opportunity to qualify under Japan's program," Guthrie said today.

Japan's program is pretty simple, and not discriminatory, as far as I can understand. Drivers buying new electric, hybrid or cleaner diesel cas do not have to pay the usual automobile taxes. If you own a clunker that is more than 13 years old and scrap it when purchasing a new one that fits the criteria, you receive a subsidy of either ¥125,000 or ¥250,000, depending on the type of car being scrapped. The problem for US cars is: Japan is providing up to a ¥250,000 ($2,830) tax cut for scrapping a car 13 years old or older toward the purchase of a new vehicle as long as it meets the 2010 fuel efficiency requirements - and US car makers still don't make or sell a whole lot of Hummers or Cadillacs that fall into that category. Discriminatory? Not.


DetNewsCom: Detroit automakers call Japan's 'clunkers' program discriminatory
Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure Transport and Tourism: 事業用車両(緑ナンバー・黒ナンバー)の環境対応車への買い換え・購入に対する補助制度について
Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry: 環境対応車への買い換え・購入に対する補助制度について
Nikkei Weekly: Summer Edition 2009


Tom O said…
Scrappage/'clunkers - old news here...

And with our european brethren, tatoeba..

"another example of Japan continuing efforts to discriminate against imported vehicles."

THE word in the above is the first one. 'Yep, there they go AGAIN - ANY excuse...'

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