DETROIT -- The U.S. cash-for-guzzlers program wont work as well as similar scrappage programs in Europe, Ford Motor Co. executive Mark Fields said Tuesday.
It will have a positive effect on the industry, Fields, Fords president of the Americas, said at a press event. I dont think it will have as significant effect as, lets say, it has had in Germany because the program was constructed differently.
In Germany, a scrappage program has pulled vehicle sales out of the doldrums. They rose 40 percent in June and have posted double-digit gains in previous months.
Rules for the U.S. scrappage program are scheduled to be issued this Friday. The program is an effort to jumpstart U.S. vehicle sales by giving credits of up to $4,500 to customers who buy new fuel-efficient vehicles and turn in their old gas guzzlers for scrap.
Fields said he expects the U.S. program will help improve industry sales during the second half of 2009. With industry sales stabilizing at an annual rate of just below 10 million vehicles the last couple of months, the worst of the U.S. downturn now appears to be in the past, Fields said.
I think it has bottomed out, he said. The question is at what point does it start turning positive.