The Washington Times - August 27, 2009, 11:31AM

Data from the government’s Cash for Clunkers program is in and results show it took nearly 700,000 mostly American made cars off the road and replaced them with lots of foreign vehicles.

Although most of the cars swapped for American ones were foreign, proponents of the program remind many of the foreign automakers have manufacturing plants in the United States, which they say will help “create or save” 42,000 jobs in the second half of 2009.

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“American consumers and workers were the clear winners thanks to the cash for clunkers program,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement. “Manufacturing plans have added shifts and recalled workers. Moribund showrooms were brought back to life and consumers bough fuel efficient cars that will save them money and improve the environment.”

To be eligible for the Cash for Clunkers program, which offered consumer rebates between $3,500 and $4,500 toward the purchase of a new car and ended Tuesday evening, consumers needed to swap an older car for a newer more fuel efficient one that got 18 miles per gallon or less. 84 percent of consumers traded in trucks and 59 percent left with passenger vehicles.

“The program worked far better than anyone anticipated at moving consumers out of old, dirty trucks and SUV’s and into more fuel efficient cars,” said the Department of Transportation.

The most traded-in car was the American-owned Ford Explorer and the most popular take-home vehicle was the Japanese-owned Toyota Corolla.

According to data released by the Department of Transportation the top ten trade-in vehicles destroyed, as required by the program, were American. They were, beginning with the most traded-in: Ford Explorer 4WD, Ford F150 Pickup 2WD, Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD, Ford Explorer 2WD, Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD, Jeep Cherokee 4WD, Chevrolet Blazer 4WD, Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD, Ford F150 Pickup 4WD and the Ford Windstar FWD Van.

The top ten take home cars, starting with the most popular were: Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Ford Focus FWD, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Versa, Toyota Prius, Honda Accord, Honda Fit and the Ford Escape FWD.