Cash for Clunkers, Visualized - Pacific Standard

Cash for Clunkers, Visualized

Graph shows that the U.S. government's effort to shift car buyers to higher-efficiency vehicles was anything but a "Buy American" campaign.
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Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Cash for Clunkers program is displayed below as a directed network that represents the flow of car ownership, from the trade-in of "gas guzzlers" toward the purchase of new, supposedly more efficient auto makes.

Each node represents a make of car and is scaled in size according to the total number of units traded in and purchased new. Node color varies according to the number of units traded in versus purchased new: The brightest red nodes represent car makes that were more frequently purchased new; the bluest nodes indicate makes more often traded in.

"Automatrix" graphic by David Sparks. Click here to see the complete graphic.

"Automatrix" graphic by David Sparks. Click here to see the complete graphic.

The length of lines between nodes indicates the volume of transactions; makes with more trade-in/purchase connections are drawn closer together.

The graph highlights a general flow from U.S. makes that were traded in to non-U.S. makes that were purchased, showing that the shift to higher-efficiency vehicles was anything but a "Buy American" campaign.

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