FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Obama Challenges Automakers; Edmunds.com Comments
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — March 30, 2009 — In his address, President Obama rightfully criticized Chrysler and General Motors for missed opportunities, and now the American people can only hope that the administration does its part to avoid similar missteps.
"It was encouraging to hear that a scrappage program is being considered, since the fundamental problem facing all car companies today is a collapse in new car demand," commented Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. "Hopefully it must be implemented quickly, since an increase in car sales will boost consumer confidence and jumpstart the economy at large."
The scrappage program is perhaps the most simple and clear way to motivate consumers. As Obama noted, there is the currently possibility of a sales tax deduction and while this is a step in the right direction, it is confusing and not universally applicable.
"You shouldn't have to take an accountant along when you buy a car," said Anwyl. "The tax deductions currently available are quite complicated and have not had much effect."
"As Chrysler and General Motors do what they must to rebuild, it is critical that the government gets its hands dirty and make it clear what is needed from the bondholders and unions, and must recognize valid assumptions about the competitive marketplace," remarked Anwyl. "Currently, the administration's attitude seems to be 'We'll know a viable plan when we see it,' and that's not going to get anyone very far."
President Obama and his team are also clearly interested in having the automakers focus on "green" cars, but that's also easier said than done.
"The market for fuel efficient vehicles rises and falls with gas prices," stated Edmunds' AutoObserver.com Editor Michelle Krebs. "Until there is a consistent and compelling reason for consumers to buy hybrids, such as stabilized gas prices, automakers cannot realistically turn over their product lines to that more expensive, less profitable product that has only achieved two percent market share after all these years in production."
Edmunds.com spokespeople are available for interviews in Edmunds.com's television studio in its Santa Monica, Calif. headquarters and in its Detroit-area satellite office.
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com, Inc. publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers and enthusiasts. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value® , is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in January 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in February 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site and home to the oldest and most established automotive community. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.