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JAPAN'S CLUNKER PROGRAM UNFAIR?
Thursday, December 31st, 2009 -- 12:20 pm
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director


Are the Japanese playing fair with clunkers?

US automakers say ‘no.’

An article in the Automotive News notes the United States’ Cash for Clunkers program included foreign-made vehicles, as long as they met fuel-efficiency standards. In fact, nearly 115,000 Japanese imports were sold during the popular program.

Japan has a similar program, but U.S.-made vehicles don’t qualify because of a technicality with Japan’s fuel economy tests.

"Why allowed them. Why isn't our vehicle allowed in their program," asks Kevin Schmitz of Gross Motors in Neillsville.

He says it doesn’t seem fair, and industry experts note Japan obviously doesn’t fear the United States’ ability to crack down on unfair trade.

"It basically eliminates the American-made car," he says.

The Japanese program pays buyers nearly $3,000 US Dollars when they trade in cars that are at least 13 years old.

Gross Motors has sold GM vehicles since 1954.

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