The taxpayer-funded CARS ('cash for clunkers') programme that ended on Tuesday replaced nearly 700,000 'clunkers' with "far more fuel efficient vehicles", according to the US Department of Transportation.

Rebate applications worth US$2.877bn were submitted by the 8pm deadline, under the US$3bn provided by Congress to run the programme.

US-made cars topped the most-purchased list, led by the Ford Focus and including the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.

"American consumers and workers were the clear winners thanks to the cash for clunkers programme," said US transportation secretary Ray LaHood. "Manufacturing plants have added shifts and recalled workers. Moribund showrooms were brought back to life and consumers bought fuel efficient cars that will save them money and improve the environment."

The DoT said a preliminary analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers showed the CARS programme would boost economic growth in the third quarter of 2009 by 0.3-0.4 percentage points at an annual rate thanks to increased auto sales in July and August and would sustain the increase in GDP in the fourth quarter because of increased auto production to replace depleted inventories.

It was also expected to create or save 42,000 jobs in the second half of 2009 and those jobs were expected to remain well after the programme's close.

The DoT noted that Ford and GM recently announced production increases for both the third and fourth quarters as a result of the demand generated by the program while Honda said it would be increasing production at its US plants in East Liberty and Marysville, Ohio and in Lincoln, Alabama.

The department said 84% of consumers traded in trucks and 59% purchased passenger cars. The average fuel economy of the vehicles traded in was 15.8 miles per gallon and the average fuel economy of vehicles purchased was 24.9mpg - a 58% improvement.

The program began with $1bn quickly snapped up by car-hungry consumers and was extended less than two weeks later with an additional $2bn allocated by Congress.

The plan was modelled on programs in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, which have had success, although some US critics argued it added to government debt and merely brought forward sales that would have occurred anyway.

Dealer transactions
Number submitted: 690,114
Dollar value: $2,877.9m

Top 10 new vehicles purchased
1.Toyota Corolla
2.Honda Civic
3.Toyota Camry
4.Ford Focus FWD
5.Hyundai Elantra
6.Nissan Versa [Tiida]
7.Toyota Prius
8.Honda Accord
9.Honda Fit [Jazz]
10.Ford Escape FWD

New vehicle manufacturers
Toyota - 19.4%
General Motors - 17.6%
Ford - 14.4%
Honda - 13.0%
Nissan - 8.7%
Hyundai - 7.2%
Chrysler - 6.6%
Kia - 4.3%
Subaru - 2.5%
Mazda - 2.4%
Volkswagen - 2.0%
Suzuki - 0.6%
Mitsubishi - 0.5%
Mini - 0.4%
Smart - 0.2%
Volvo - 0.1%
Other - <0.1%

Top 10 trade-in vehicles
1.Ford Explorer 4WD
2.Ford F150 Pickup 2WD
3.Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4.Ford Explorer 2WD
5.Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD
6.Jeep Cherokee 4WD
7.Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
8.Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
9.Ford F150 Pickup 4WD
10.Ford Windstar FWD Van

Vehicles purchased by category
Passenger Cars: 404,046
Category 1 Truck: 231,651
Category 2 Truck: 46,836
Category 3 Truck: 2,408

Vehicle traded in by category
Passenger Cars: 109,380
Category 1 Truck: 450,778
Category 2 Truck: 116,909
Category 3 Truck: 8,134

Hangover seen after clunkers party