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Toyota Corolla

Ford Focus
Ford's Focus leads the list of new cars bought under the "Clunkers" program

It was reported late last month that the $1 billion set aside for the Cash for Clunkers program had been exhausted. Under the Clunkers program, Americans were offered up to $4,500 to trade in old, gas guzzling vehicles -- the cash would then be applied towards the purchase price of a new, more fuel efficient vehicle.

According to the Obama administration, domestic automakers made up 47% of new car sales under the Clunkers program -- domestic auto manufacturers account for 45% of the overall auto market according to the Detroit News. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs detailed that the average "clunker" traded in under the program was rated at 15.8 mpg while the average for the replacement vehicle was 25.4 mpg.

Of the new, fuel efficient vehicles purchased under the program, Ford came out on top with its compact Focus according to the Transportation Department. The Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, and Toyota Camry rounded out the top five. The top clunkers traded in were the Ford Explorer, Ford F-150, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee, and the Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan.

Not surprisingly, hybrid vehicle sales were up 35% year-over-year in July thanks to the Clunkers program. Toyota sold 19,193 Prius hybrids in July, while other models like the Altima Hybrid and Escape Hybrid saw double-digit increases according to Autoblog Green.

The success of Cash for Clunkers has led lawmakers to push through legislation to replenish the funds for the program. The House has already passed legislation to provide the additional $2 billion to the program. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday that the Senate will pass its version of the bill as well, much to President's Obama's delight.

"This program is going forward. We have enough money to continue. We encourage people to continue going into showrooms," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "The money will be there to be reimbursed by the dealer. And I believe the Senate will pass $2 billion."

"This is the one stimulus program that I believe has been the most popular," LaHood added.

**Updated 8/5/2009**
The Detroit News now reports that the Toyota Corolla has jumped ahead of the Ford Focus in "Clunker" sales.





"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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