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August 5, 2009

Senators reach deal to keep clunkers program going

WASHINGTON -- Senators have reached a deal on saving the dwindling cash-for-clunkers program, agreeing to vote Thursday on adding $2 billion to the popular rebate plan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced the vote after lengthy negotiations between Democratic and Republican lawmakers today. Reid has said Democrats have enough votes to pass the bill, meaning consumers could take advantage of the rebates of up to $4,500 until Labor Day.

The government says more than $775 million of the existing $1 billion fund has been spent. President Barack Obama says the program will go broke by Friday if it’s not refilled by Congress.

Consumers have continued to snap up the offer of $3,500 or $4,500 vouchers on new vehicles for trading in older gas-guzzlers, as new data showed Detroit automakers mostly holding their own against foreign brands among buyers.

The latest data on trades under the program showed most automakers with the same market share among buyers using vouchers as among all U.S. customers, with General Motors Co. holding 18.7%, Toyota Motor Co. at 17.9% and Ford Motor Co. at 16%. Chrysler Group LLC, with 10.6%, and Hyundai, with 6.6%, had higher market share from clunker customers.

For the first time, the Ford Focus lost the title of most-purchased vehicle under the program to the Toyota Corolla.

Article Link:Senators reach deal to keep clunkers program going | | Detroit Free Press
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