With the Obama Administration claiming at least 185,000 new-car sales since the “Cash for Clunker’s” program kicked off Aug. 1, administration officials are confident that the program could actually move as many as 500,000 cars before the program ends.
According to Associated Press reports, the Senate is close to voting on a $2 billion extension for the highly popular program that has brought shoppers back into showrooms in search of a vehicle that will get them between $3,500 and $4,500, depending on the model and mileage.
The highly popular program, funded initially with $1 billion, has already spend about $775 million of the money, an AP report noted this morning and the Senate is hurrying to add an additional $2 billion as the House has already done.
The government said Wednesday that more than $775 million of the $1 billion fund had been spent, accounting for nearly 185,000 new vehicles sold. Hopeful administration officials estimate the extra funding will last into Labor Day, however, given the popularity of he program, it could run out of funding as early as this weekend.
That’s not likely to be the case, though, as the House, as noted, has already approved a $2 billion expansion of the program and the Senate is set to vote on a similar bill today after beating back attempts to slow down or halt this rapidly moving legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the AP that they have more than enough votes to move this plan ahead with little change. Opponents have proposed, among other things placing an income limit on those benefiting from the vouchers, terminating the Troubled Asset Relief Program and requiring the government to sell off its shares in Michigan automakers General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.
The opposition has also conceded this point.
The “Cars for Clunkers” program, which aims at removing older vehicles that achieve less than 18 mpg from the road, is very popular as buyers flock to showrooms across the country.
One New England dealer group has reported increased sales due to the program, a report that has been reported by others in the six-state region. MA dealers had a dual boost last month as the state’s sales tax jumped as buyers avoided a 1.25 percent increase in the state sales tax, as well.
One thing that some dealers and customers are complaining about in this program is the paperwork. Some dealers are saying they have yet to receive their payment from the federal government and this has impacted customers who have purchased cars under what is officially known as the CARS program. Some dealerships are asking people who have purchased vehicles under the program to return those vehicles; CNN reported this morning, while other dealers are reporting things are going well. Dealers not having problems seem to be those who will soon be history such as Pontiac, while some ford dealers are the ones who seem to be requesting that the cars be returned.