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June 9, 2009

House OKs cash for clunkers


WASHINGTON – The U.S. House approved a plan today offering up to $4,500 for owners of gas-guzzling clunkers to trade in their wheels for new models in a bid to boost the lagging market for new vehicles.

With broad support from both political parties, the bill passed by a wide margin of 298-119, with two abstaining. Backers in the Senate hope to attach it to whichever major bill will move through that chamber next, although there’s still a disagreement there over whether the plan should focus on higher-mileage models.

The House bill sets aside $4 billion to pay for electronic vouchers given to owners of older vehicles toward new models. With auto sales running at their lowest rate in four decades, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill could spur sales of about 625,000 vehicles; backers are hoping for 1 million.

The act “will shore up millions of jobs and stimulate local economies,” said Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio. “It will improve our environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

The government’s interest in goosing the vehicle market extends to its ownership in General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, both of which are counting on a healthier U.S. market in the coming years for survival.

“The auto industry is going through a tremendous restructuring,” said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak. “If there is not increased demand, that restructuring cannot succeed.”

Under the plan, owners of cars and trucks that get less than 18 m.p.g. could get a voucher of $3,500 to $4,500 for a new vehicle, depending on the mileage of the new model.

The plan does have several hurdles that will keep some potential buyers on the sidelines. The clunker being traded in will be crushed or recycled, meaning it will have no trade-in value beyond the voucher. Of the 25 million vehicles estimated to qualify for the voucher, most will be trucks: even 15 years ago, only five models of midsize sedans managed just 18 m.p.g.

To ensure the vehicles being crushed are actually coming off the road rather than cinder blocks, the trade-ins have to have been registered and insured for at least the past year.

The bill was backed not only by Detroit automakers, but also by the UAW, the National Automobile Dealers Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups.

Article LINK:House OKs cash for clunkers | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press
 

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House, Senate teams OK $1 billion

House, Senate teams OK $1 billion ‘cash for clunkers’ program

Posted Friday, Jun 12, 2009, 11:09 am in Employee News

Last modified on Friday, Jun 12, 2009, 11:12 am.

House and Senate negotiators reached agreement late Thursday on a $106 billion wartime spending bill that includes $1 billion for a “cash for clunkers” program to boost auto sales, The Detroit News reported.

The program would offer vouchers of up to $4,500 for car buyers who turn in old, gas-guzzling cars and trucks for new, more fuel-efficient models, the paper reported. Auto state lawmakers, carmakers and dealers have sought the measure as a partial antidote for auto sales that have plunged 40 percent or more in the face of a deep recession, the News said.

The House and Senate are expected to pass the compromise version of the spending bill next week, the But the $1 billion set aside for the auto-purchase program is far short of the full cost of such an effort, estimated at $4 billion, the paper said. The $1 billion is expected to fund the program through Sept. 30, the end of this fiscal year, according to two congressional sources close to the negotiations who asked to remain anonymous, the story said. (The Detroit News)
 

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Cash for Clunkers may take a while

Cash for Clunkers may take a while, feds say

Posted Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009, 2:40 pm in Employee News

With legislation establishing a “cash for clunkers” car trade-in program poised to pass Congress this week, car dealers and federal regulators are telling potential buyers not to rush out for that cash—at least not yet, The Detroit News reported.

The program, long sought by the industry and lawmakers from auto-producing states, has been attached to a war-spending bill the House could take up as soon as today, the paper said. It would offer vouchers of $3,500 or $4,500 for consumers who turn in gas-guzzling vehicles for new, more fuel-efficient models, the News said.

Passage remains uncertain; Republicans opposed to the measure could seek to remove it from the bill, the News said. That’s especially true in the Senate, where GOP opponents could invoke a rule that would require 60 votes to keep the measure in that bill, the story said.

But even if Congress acts swiftly, it will take weeks for NHTSA and car dealers to work out the logistics, the paper said. The legislation gives NHTSA as many as 30 days to establish the program’s rules and set up a system with dealers to administer the vouchers to buyers, the story said. (The Detroit News)
 

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Senate Passes "Cash for Clunkers"

Senate Passes "Cash for Clunkers" Program

Senate passes $1 billion 'cash for clunkers' program over strong Republican opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress approved a "cash for clunkers" program Thursday to provide government incentives of $3,500 to $4,500 to motorists who trade in their gas guzzlers for more fuel efficient vehicles after Senate Democrats narrowly defeated a Republican effort to kill the plan.

Auto state senators said the program would help hard-pressed car dealers and automakers by bringing buyers into showrooms, and they got help from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who made calls to wavering Democrats urging them to keep the plan alive.

"This is an emergency for families and small businesses -- for an industry that has been the backbone of our economy for a generation," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., who sponsored the proposal.

Opponents said it would increase the federal debt without doing much to get expensive-to-operate vehicles off the roads.

Senate supporters of the program overcame a procedural hurdle by the plan's leading opponent, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., on a 60-36 vote, winning the minimum number of votes needed to keep the program in a $106 billion war-spending plan that the Senate passed later Thursday.

The House approved the cash for clunkers bill last week on a vote of 298-119 and Senate Democrats attached it to the war-spending bill. The overall bill now goes to the White House for Obama's signature.

Four Republicans -- Kit Bond of Missouri, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Susan Collins of Maine and George Voinovich of Ohio -- voted with two independents and 54 Democrats in favor of the clunker measure, while Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska was opposed along with 35 Republicans.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., changed her vote to support the vehicle incentive plan and spoke by phone with Obama during the vote.

Cantwell spokeswoman Ciaran Clayton said Obama "acknowledged Senator Cantwell's concerns that the cash- for-clunkers program ... did not do enough to meet our nation's urgent need to reduce foreign oil dependence" and vowed to work with Cantwell and others to "maximize the number of efficient cars on America's roads."

In addition to Cantwell, Obama and Biden reached out to Democrats Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Michael Bennet of Colorado, according to two people familiar with the outreach. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Obama has encouraged Congress to approve the consumer incentives for new car purchases as part of the government's efforts to restructure General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group LLC. The bill provides $1 billion for the program from July through November.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who supported a plan with more stringent requirements to receive the vouchers, said she received "absolute assurance" from Senate leaders that if the program was continued beyond November it would be modeled after the bill she pushed.

Supporters said the program, which would be implemented by the Transportation Department, was expected to be implemented by early August.

The auto industry and its union lobbied heavily for passage of the cash for clunkers plan as GM and Chrysler have received billions of dollars in government-led bankruptcies and the entire auto industry has dealt with plummeting car sales. In May, overall sales were 34 percent lower than a year ago.

Under the proposal, car owners could get a voucher worth $3,500 if they traded in a vehicle getting 18 miles per gallon or less for one getting at least 22 mpg. The value of the voucher would grow to $4,500 if the mileage of the new car was 10 mpg higher than the old vehicle. The miles per gallon figures are listed on the car window's sticker.

Owners of sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks or minivans that get 18 mpg or less could receive a voucher for $3,500 if their new truck or SUV got at least 2 mpg higher than their old vehicle. The voucher would increase to $4,500 if the mileage of the new truck or SUV was at least 5 mpg higher than the older vehicle.

Dealers participating in the program would receive an electronic voucher from the government for the trade-in to apply to the purchase or lease of a qualifying vehicle. The bill directs dealers to ensure that the older vehicles are crushed or shredded to get the clunkers off the road.

The program was intended to help replace older vehicles -- built in model year 1984 or later -- and would not make financial sense for consumers owning an older car with a trade-in value greater than $3,500 or $4,500.

The U.S. industry is expected to generate about 9.5 million vehicles sales in 2009, compared with more than 13 million in 2008 and more than 16 million in 2007.

LINK:Senate Passes "Cash for Clunkers" Program- Yahoo! Autos Article Page
 

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Cash-for-clunkers site launches

Cash-for-clunkers site launches, but rules aren't ready


The federal government launched a Web site Monday for the cash for clunkers plan passed by Congress last week, but the rules to oversee the program may take up to a month to craft.

The Web site, NHTSA.gov - CARS - Car Allowance Rebate System, offers information on how the process of trading an older vehicle for a more-efficient model will work, and urges customers to call dealers to see if they will register for the program.

On Thursday, Congress sent the $1-billion measure to President Barack Obama for his signature. The program should put $3,500 to $4,500 in the pockets of about 250,000 people trading in older gas guzzlers for new, more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Automakers and suppliers cheered the news, even though the plan was pared back from an original target of $4 billion and one million vehicles. But some analysts have questioned how many owners of older vehicles that qualify for the vouchers could afford a new model, even with $4,500 off the sticker.

CNW Marketing/Research said that the delay in getting the plan approved by Congress pushed it out of the range of a surge of shoppers in the traditional June and July selling season, and would also suffer from a Nov. 1 cutoff.

Many of the shoppers are likely "in large part going to Asian automakers," the research firm said in a report. "The environmental impact will be minuscule considering the number of vehicles actually being replaced."

LINK:Cash-for-clunkers site launches, but rules aren't ready | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press
 

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cash-for-guzzlers: July 23

Feds to launch cash-for-guzzlers on July 23

Posted Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009, 1:08 pm in Employee News

The U.S. Transportation Department said it expects to issue final rules for the cash-for-guzzlers program around July 23 and warned dealers that they are legally responsible for any trade-ins structured before that date, the Automotive News reported.

The federal guidance seeks to clear up some confusion that has arisen over when the $1 billion program goes into effect, the paper said. The legislation, signed into law last week by President Barack Obama, says consumers who swap their vehicles for new, more fuel-efficient cars or trucks are potentially eligible for federal credits starting Wednesday, the publication reported.

The program seeks to spur U.S. auto sales while improving the fuel economy of vehicles on the road, the paper said. Consumers will be eligible for $3,500 or $4,500 credits if their current cars or light trucks get 18 mpg or less and the new vehicles they are buying get certain amounts more, the story said. (Automotive News)
 

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Dealer concern grows around “Cash for Clunkers”

Dealer concern grows around “Cash for Clunkers”

Posted Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009, 10:52 am in Employee News

As they begin building ads around the government’s “cash for clunkers” program, some dealers are growing more concerned that the incentives won’t provide enough of a spark to revive U.S. auto sales, said a Wall Street Journal article.

Restrictions on eligibility and program launch delays are diminishing hopes that the United States will experience a car-shopping craze like that seen in countries like Germany and Brazil that implemented similar plans, according to the story.

Cash-for-clunkers will provide about $1 billion in federal funds as incentive money. Eligible owners of gas guzzlers will receive a credit if they turn them in and buy or lease a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle.

The program was approved June 1, but final details on eligibility have yet to be released. The story says preliminary rules declaring clunkers must be less than 25 years old and get 18 miles per gallon or less in combined city/highway mileage also have hurt.

The Wall Street Journal says a similar program in Germany drew more than one million applications for vouchers. That program, at $6.5 billion, is larger than the U.S. version. (Wall Street Journal)
 

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Expanded “Cash for Clunkers” starts Monday

Expanded “Cash for Clunkers” starts Monday

July 26th, 2009

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has cleared the way for the kickoff of the “Cash for Clunkers” program. This means the long-awaited, billion-dollar federal stimulus for automotive sales will begin tomorrow when Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood opens the program with an event at NHTSA headquarters. Fuel-efficient vehicles from the major manufacturers and some members of Congress will be on display at the Washington event.

The last roadblock to the program was cleared when the NHTSA issued a final regulation detailing the process for dealers to register, get reimbursed and dispose of trade-ins (all vehicles acquired under the program must be scrapped). The agency has been trying to set up the program to reduce the opportunities for fraud.

An NHTSA spokeswoman said 1,700 dealers were already approved for the program while an additional 2,100 dealer applications are pending. Fewer than 150 dealers have been rejected.

Under the “Cash for Clunkers” program, which ends November 1, 2009 or when the authorized funds are exhausted, buyers who trade in an eligible vehicle can get a $4,500 government rebate toward the purchase of a new, more efficient vehicle priced under $45,000. The NHTSA sweetened the deal by making the $45,000 limit apply only to the base price of the vehicle. In addition, vehicles to be traded in must get 18 miles per gallon or less under the revised EPA ratings, which tend to be lower than those originally posted on the vehicle’s Monroney sticker. This change expanded the number of eligible vehicles.

Dealers will be required to destroy the traded-in vehicles’ engines by replacing the crankcase oil with a 40 percent solution of sodium silicate, a sealant used for patching radiators and mufflers, and then running the engine until it is inoperable. The NHTSA estimates this will cost the dealer no more than $30.00 and will reduce the possibility of the vehicle being re-sold instead of scrapped.

Chrysler Group has rolled out a new incentive program that offers to match the government rebate with its own $4,500 rebate. The Chrysler rebate is also available to customers not using the government program.

The industry and auto dealers hope the program will generate about 250,000 additional sales. Similar programs in Europe, though less restrictive tan the U.S. program, have been responsible for healthy increases in new car sales.

LINK:http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2009/07/expanded-cash-for-clunkers-starts-monday/
 

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Cash for Clunkers Begins Today

July 27, 2009, 8:01 am
Cash for Clunkers Begins Today


And so it begins. After all the talk, debate and anticipation, the Car Allowance Rebate System (C.A.R.S.), better known as “cash for clunkers,” finally kicks off with a press conference this morning by the transportation secretary, Ray LaHood.

While C.A.R.S. has officially been in effect since July 1, the rules were not completed and revealed until last Friday. Visitors to the Web site will notice a few changes, including a PDF of the rules (all 136 pages of them) available for download. CARS.gov - Car Allowance Rebate System - Home - Formerly Referred to as “Cash for Clunkers”

We have previously covered the guidelines here. Obama Signs Cash-for-Clunkers Bill - Wheels Blog - NYTimes.com

Essentially, consumers can get up to $4,500 toward the purchase or lease of a new fuel-efficient car or truck if they bring in an old vehicle that gets a combined average mileage of 18 miles a gallon or less.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said it will eventually provide “a comprehensive list of new vehicles that meet the requirements of the program.” Until then, you can use the table found here Find a Car to look up the fuel economy of all vehicles dating to 1984, the earliest model-year vehicle eligible for trade-in.

Not every dealer is expected to participate in C.A.R.S. And those that do must register to be part of the program, and registrations may take a day or so to certify. So the agency recommends that consumers first call a dealer to see if it’s participating (and has been certified) before going to the dealership.

The program will run until Nov. 1 or when the $1 billion that Congress has allotted to the program runs out. And consumers can expect automakers to add their own incentives on top of the federal rebates.

Chrysler actually jumped the gun, by starting an incentive program last Thursday. Chrysler said it will match the government trade-in rebates on the purchase of certain vehicles. The most fuel-efficient vehicle in the 2009 Chrysler lineup is the Dodge Caliber, which gets 27 miles a gallon.

Article LINK:Cash for Clunkers Begins Today - Wheels Blog - NYTimes.com
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For Dealers Only: Engine Killer!

On June 24, the President signed the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act of 2009 into law. The Act directs NHTSA to set up a program in which owners of vehicles meeting statutorily specified criteria may receive a monetary credit for trading in their vehicle and purchasing or leasing certain new vehicles. If all of the conditions of eligibility are met, NHTSA would make an electronic payment to the dealer equal to the amount of the credit after the dealer provides NHTSA with sufficient documentation relating to the transaction. (Download the .pdf)

Regulations #5 and #6 state:

(5)establish, in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), requirements and procedures for the disposal of eligible trade in vehicles; and (6) provide for a means to enforce penalties for violations of the program requirements.

EngineKiller - the product that conforms to the recently issued NHSTA guidelines for the compound to ensure auto dealers disable the engines of the CARS program trade-ins!!

The agency (NHSTA) has decided to implement this process in the rule, requiring a dealer that receives an eligible trade-in vehicle under the CARS program to disable that vehicle’s engine prior to transferring the vehicle to a disposal facility, and to provide a certification to the agency that it has done so at the time the dealer submits its request for reimbursement. Section 599.300(d)(2) specifies the requirement for the dealer to disable the engine, Appendix B sets forth, in a simple and precise manner, the procedures that the dealer must follow to disable the engine and the workplace precautions that should be taken, and Appendix A, certifications section, contains the required dealer certification. (p.42)

Our product conforms to the standards to disable the engine - see the Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program link for the CARS Appendix B to 599 for instructions.

Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program

Appendix B to Part 599 - Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program

Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program

THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT TO BE USED BY THE VEHICLE OWNER

Perform the following procedure to disable the vehicle engine.

1. Obtain solution of 40% sodium silicate/60% water. (The Sodium Silicate

(SiO2/Na2O) must have a weight ratio of 3.0 or greater.) (EngineKiller meets these requirements)

2. Drain engine oil for environmentally appropriate disposal.

3. Install the oil drain plug.

4. Since the procedure is intended to render the engine inoperative, drive or move the vehicle to the desired area for disablement.

5. Pour enough solution in the engine through the oil fill for the oil pump to circulate the solution throughout the engine. Start by adding 2 quarts of the solution, which should be sufficient in most cases.

CAUTION: Wear goggles and gloves. Appropriate protective clothing should be worn to prevent silicate solution from coming into contact with the skin.

6. Replace the oil fill cap.

7. Start the engine.

8. Run engine at approximately 2000 rpm (for safety reasons do not operate at high rpm) until the engine stops. (Typically the engine will operate for 3 to 7 minutes. As the solution starts to affect engine operation, the operator will have to apply more throttle to keep the engine at 2000 rpm.)

9. Allow the engine to cool for at least 1 hour.

10. With the battery at full charge or with auxiliary power to provide the power of a fully charged battery, attempt to start the engine.

11. If the engine will not operate at idle, the procedure is complete.

12. If the engine will operate at idle, repeat steps 7 through 11 until the engine will no longer idle.

13. Attach a label to the engine that legibly states the following:

This engine is from a vehicle that is part of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS). It has significant internal damage caused by operating the engine with a sodium silicate solution (liquid glass) instead of oil.

14. File this document in the file for the new vehicle purchase.

Use our Sodium Silicate 40% Solution and know you are in accordance with all the requirements, and you are saving money! Order now.

LINK:

Engine Killer
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Kill Engines to Stop Fraud

Cash-for-Clunkers Dealers Kill Engines to Stop Fraud

July 24 - Dealers in the U.S. “cash-for- clunkers” program are being forced to disable trade-in vehicles with a chemical under new rules to prevent those who take the government subsidies from reselling the cars.

Dealers must replace the oil in the “clunker” with two quarts of sodium silicate solution and run the engine for up to seven minutes, permanently disabling it, according to rules released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Washington.

“Substantial opportunity exists for fraudulent diversion of the trade-in vehicle, largely because its still-functioning engine makes it attractive to return the vehicle to the road rather than relegate it to the scrap yard,” the NHTSA said.

The government is trying to help jump-start slumping auto sales through the program, giving consumers new-vehicle credits of as much as $4,500 for turning in older cars. Sales of cars and light trucks in 2008 totaled 13.2 million, after averaging more than 16 million a year during this decade. Federal inspectors will review dealer records and vehicles for violators of the rules, who would face a $15,000 fine per infraction.

NHTSA officials said in a footnote of the rules that they “understand” vehicles in Germany’s “clunkers” program have been resold rather than scrapped after certifications that the vehicles were disposed.

Sodium silicate is a substance found in dishwasher detergent and used to seal exhaust leaks in repair shops, according to the rules. The agency said it doesn’t believe use of the product will present a hazard to dealerships, scrap-yard workers or the environment.

Dealer Opposition

Dealers opposed the engine provision and a rule that requires them to possess used-car titles in order to get federal reimbursement. The retailers have said they’re not in the business of destroying engines and that the $50 of the scrap value they are allowed to keep may not cover costs of the action.

Consumers often don’t know where their titles are and getting them could take as long as eight weeks, said John McEleney, chairman of the McLean, Virginia-based National Automobile Dealers Association.

The provisions will “add some time” and “add some cost” for dealers, McEleney said in an interview today. “We need the stimulus so badly we’ll make it work.”

While the law took effect on July 1, NHTSA had encouraged dealers to wait for today’s publication of the rules to begin making transactions.

‘Not That Complicated’

“It’s not that complicated,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a Bloomberg Television interview today. “Bring proof of insurance, bring proof that you’ve owned the car for one year, and bring it in.”

President Barack Obama signed the clunkers program into law June 24 after Congress approved it the previous week as part of legislation to finance the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The $1 billion in federal subsidies may spark 250,000 new car sales, U.S. lawmakers have said.

Consumers will get a $4,500 discount if the new car they are buying gets 10 miles-a-gallon better gas mileage than the model they are trading in. For light trucks, the improvement must be 5 mpg better than the older model.

For a $3,500 credit, the improvement for cars must be 4 mpg or better, and for light trucks, 2 mpg. The trade-in vehicle must be no older than a 1984 model and get 18 mpg or less in combined city/highway fuel economy.

New passenger cars purchased with the discount must get at least 22 mpg in city/highway fuel economy, and light trucks must get at least 18 mpg. Domestic as well as foreign models sold in the U.S. qualify.

The program will end Nov. 1 or when the $1 billion in subsidies expire, whichever occurs first. Congress must decide later this year whether to approve legislation extending the program into 2010.

LINK:Cash-for-Clunkers Dealers Kill Engines to Stop Fraud (Update1) - Bloomberg.com
 

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UPDATE: 16,000 Auto Dealers

‘Cash-For-Clunkers’ Plan Attracts 16,000 Auto Dealers



July 27 Almost 16,000 U.S. auto dealers have applied to participate in the “cash-for-clunkers” vehicle trade-in program, or about 80 percent of the nation’s new- vehicle retailers, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

The government is trying to help jump-start slumping auto sales through the program, giving consumers new-vehicle credits of as much as $4,500 for turning in older cars.

“We’re very excited about the tremendous interest in this program,” LaHood said today at a news conference to outline the program. “We think it’s going to turn into a good news story for many communities that have been hit hard by the recession.”

Sales of cars and light trucks in 2008 fell to 13.2 million, after averaging more than 16 million a year during this decade, and General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC are working to restore demand after emerging from bankruptcy. There were about 19,000 U.S. dealers at the end of June, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The Transportation Department has processed 15,893 dealer applications, LaHood said. The law took effect on July 1, and the U.S. published rules for the program July 24.

LaHood said his agency has received 45,000 phone calls from people asking about the program.

President Barack Obama signed the clunkers program into law June 24 after Congress approved it the previous week as part of legislation to finance the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Consumer Incentive

The $1 billion in federal subsidies may spark 250,000 new car sales, U.S. lawmakers have said. They’re betting the clunkers effort will help spur purchases by consumers who weren’t otherwise in the market for a new car.

John Bailey, 26, said he traded in a car two days ago for a new Chevrolet Cobalt. Bailey, of Manassas, Virginia, said he wouldn’t have traded in his 1994 Oldsmobile had it not been for the cash-for-clunkers plan.

“It’s a great incentive for consumers,” said Bailey, who works in the shipping and receiving department of a semiconductor manufacturer.

Cash for clunkers will end Nov. 1 or when the $1 billion in subsidies expire, whichever occurs first. Congress must decide later this year whether to approve legislation extending it into 2010.

“With the tremendous public interest leading up to today, we anticipate that the $1 billion in funding for the cash for clunkers program will go quickly,” John McEleney, chairman of the McLean, Virginia-based National Automobile Dealers Association, said in a statement today.

Representatives Sander Levin of Michigan and Betty Sutton of Ohio, both Democrats, said at the press conference that they may try to extend the program if the initial allotment is exhausted swiftly.

LINK:?Cash-For-Clunkers? Plan Attracts 16,000 Auto Dealers (Update2) - Bloomberg.com
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Guzzler reimbursements begin to flow

Guzzler reimbursements begin to flow

Posted Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009, 1:22 pm in Employee News

The U.S. government, facing dealer concerns about bottlenecks in the new cash-for-guzzlers reimbursement system, approved about 1 percent of the program’s funds as of this morning for distribution to dealers, a federal spokesman told the Automotive News.

Outside contractors had processed 4,026 cash-for-guzzlers deals as of this morning, approving about $17 million in voucher reimbursements to dealers, Rae Tyson, a spokesman for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, told the paper. Dealers who have completed dozens of deals and are worrying about the program running out of its $1 billion in funding before the Nov. 1 deadline shouldn’t be anxious, Tyson told the Automotive News.

The law, which gives consumers $3,500 to $4,500 vouchers for trading in some gas-guzzling cars for new ones with better fuel efficiency, had permitted dealers to start completing qualifying deals on July 1, the paper said. But dealers could not register for the program or apply for voucher reimbursements until Friday, the story said. (Automotive News)
 

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'Clunker' Sales Raise Worry

* JULY 30, 2009

'Clunker' Sales Raise Worry



Car dealers on Wednesday began expressing concern that the government's "cash for clunkers" incentive program could run out of money as soon as the end of August due to strong initial response from consumers.

"It's important for customers to act because we don't know when the curtain is going to fall on this thing," said John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

Mr. McEleney said he has been fielding calls from dealers with this concern, adding he suspects the $1 billion set aside for the program could run out within a month based on early response.

The program, which offers up to $4,500 in federal rebates for consumers who trade in older vehicles to buy new, more fuel-efficient models, began Friday and is supposed to run until Nov. 1.

On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Candice Miller (R., Mich.) wrote to fellow members of the House of Representatives urging them to expand funding for the program.

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) called it premature to conclude the program needs more funds. "Before considering expanding the program, we would want to evaluate the current program," he said.

Rae Tyson, a spokesman at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which runs the program, said dealers will get "plenty of warning" when the funds are running low. As of Wednesday the agency said it received 22,782 rebate requests totaling $95.9 million, not including administrative costs. Mr. Tyson wouldn't comment on whether the money will last until Nov. 1.

It is likely the pace of rebates will slow as dealers clear a backlog of sales made before the program was launched Friday. Sales made since July 1 were eligible.

Chrysler Group LLC said its dealers saw a two-year-high in traffic last weekend, though only some one-third of those who came in for the clunkers program had vehicles that qualified. Toyota Motor Co. said it had only anecdotal evidence but that traffic appears to be up. Hyundai Motor Co.'s U.S. sales chief, Dave Zuchowski, said his company expects 15% or more of its July sales to be related to the program.

Chrysler and Hyundai are among car makers offering extra support for the program. Chrysler will match the largest U.S. incentive available to customers turning in a clunker, $4,500. Hyundai has advanced rebate cash to dealers since early July.

"We're certainly worried right now" about the program running out of money, said Mr. Zuchowski. "We'd like to keep this momentum going."

Article Link:'Clunker' Sales Raise Worry - WSJ.com
 
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