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Top Stories
Cash for Clunkers Ending
NADA Statement on the End of the Cash for Clunkers Program
Clunkers Deal to End, But Questions Continue
Two-Thirds of Dealers Waiting for First Clunker Check
Clunker Delays Not 'Extraordinary,' Says Obama
Clunker Parts' Crossroad: Useful Spare or Gritty End
GM Program With eBay Creates Buzz but Few Sales
VW Recalls 13,500 Cars
Toyota to Boost North American Production of 4-Cylinder Engines
Top Stories
Cash for Clunkers Ending

With money running out, $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program will end on Monday. The tally so far: 457,000 cars and $1.9 billion in rebates.
NEW YORK -- The $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program will shut down on Monday, the government said Thursday. Dealers must submit any pending Clunker deals, including any necessary paperwork, by 8 p.m. ET Monday. "With a date certain, NADA is strongly recommending that all dealers now focus their attention and efforts on submitting reimbursement claims prior to the looming deadline," said John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association in a statement on Thursday. Car dealer Brian Benstock, president of Paragon Honda in Woodside, N.Y., said he's already written 200 Clunker deals and will have a big advertising push this weekend to get a few more. "We're leaving nothing behind," Benstock said. "When it's over it's over and we're leaving no dollars on the sidelines."
Source: CNNMoney.com

Editor's Note: With less than 100 hours to submit new “Clunkers” applications, NADA strongly advises dealers to give priority to submitting all unsubmitted deals to NHTSA. While there is still time remaining to initiate new “Clunkers” deals, each dealer must acknowledge the growing risk of potentially being shut out as the deadline approaches. Click here for the news release the Administration released regarding yesterday's announcement. Click here for the government's Wind Down Strategy.

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NADA Statement on the End of the Cash for Clunkers Program

WASHINGTON – With nearly $2 billion currently logged into the Cars Allowance Rebate System (CARS) and an unknown number of backlogged deals, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced [Thursday] that the “cash for clunkers” program will end at 8 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 24. In response, John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), issued the following statement:

“Today, the Administration announced the submission deadline for all ‘cash for clunkers’ applications. Regardless of when the transaction is consummated, the application must be submitted before the deadline to be considered for funding.

“However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has advised NADA that any applications submitted prior to the deadline and then rejected may still be funded if the applications are subsequently corrected (even if the corrections are submitted after the deadline). This opportunity to cure the application is an essential element of the wind-down of the program.

“Both consumers and dealers participating in the ‘clunkers’ program now have clarity. And now dealers around the country can begin implementing an orderly wind-down of the program, while managing their customers’ expectations.

“Additionally, NADA will continue to work with DOT and NHTSA to reduce the backlog of pending applications and ensure that all dealers are reimbursed for valid ‘clunkers’ deals.”
Source: NADA Newswire

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Clunkers Deal to End, But Questions Continue

Are dealers too lax or feds too strict?
The decision announced Thursday means that the program expected to generate 250,000 vehicle sales over three months will have triggered more than 700,000 in about a month. Many dealers say the government has been slow to reimburse them. Federal officials claim dealer mistakes are often to blame for the delays. Of the 457,476 deals submitted, the administration said about 170,000 had been reviewed, with a "large number" rejected for incomplete or inaccurate paperwork. Given the average clunker voucher of about $4,200, the government's figures suggest that fewer than 35,000 deals have passed muster.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Two-Thirds of Dealers Waiting for First Clunker Check

DETROIT -- About two-thirds of dealers responding to an Automotive News survey this week have received no payment from the U.S. government for their cash-for-clunkers sales. Payment has been received for fewer than 3 percent of total deals, survey respondents said. The resulting cash crimp is hurting their dealerships, many dealers said. About one-quarter of the respondents said cash-flow problems are serious enough to put their businesses at risk or to require that they borrow money to cover the shortages.
Source: Automotive News

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Clunker Delays Not 'Extraordinary,' Says Obama

President Barack Obama said [Thursday] that there have not been "extraordinary delays" in the processing of dealers' cash-for-clunkers claims and that the government has to be scrupulous in reviewing them to avoid fraud. "This is actually a high-class problem to have -- that we're selling too many cars too quickly, and there's some backlog in the application process," Obama said in a radio interview released by the White House.
Source: Automotive News

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Clunker Parts' Crossroad: Useful Spare or Gritty End

Even after their engines are silenced, the dead clunkers face a long journey to auto heaven. This gritty side of the car business is largely unseen in a country where the dominant image of the automotive industry is pristine cars rolling off production lines. But the Cash for Clunkers program, which Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Thursday will end Monday, is leaving behind vast lots full of discards -- a big job for the $22-billion-a-year auto recycling business and its many colorful characters. People wonder: Where do all these cars go?
Source: The Washington Post

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GM Program With eBay Creates Buzz but Few Sales

An effort to sell General Motors Co. cars through eBay Inc.'s online market is generating some leads for participating auto dealers but hasn't yet sparked a spurt in sales, dealers said. The companies rolled out the four-week pilot program for California customers Aug. 11. Under it, shoppers using special eBay sites can purchase GM cars at a "buy it now" price, or bargain online with a dealer. Dealers contacted by The Wall Street Journal said the program has yielded only a handful of sales and leads per dealership. "We haven't seen a ton of response from it yet," said Trey Selman, owner of Selman Chevrolet Co. in Orange, Calif. All told his store has sold approximately 50 cars since the eBay initiative began. All seven sales required in-person meetings, he said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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VW Recalls 13,500 Cars

Transmission problem could prompt dashboard warning on Jetta, GTI, Eos
Volkswagen of America is recalling 13,500 vehicles to fix problems with a dual-clutch transmission that could lead to a warning on the dashboard. The recall affects 2009 model year and a limited number of 2010 Jetta, Jetta SportsWagen, GTI and Eos vehicles built between September 2008 and August 2009. Volkswagen says some of the vehicles could have a faulty temperature sensor in the transmission, which could lead to the warning lamp lighting up on the dashboard.
Source: The Associated Press

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Toyota to Boost North American Production of 4-Cylinder Engines

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to increase North American production of four-cylinder engines by adding capacity at its Huntsville, Ala., plant. The company expects to hire at least 240 new employees and invest about $147 million in the plan. The new four-cylinder engines will be used in its Camry and RAV4 models. "We're pleased to be moving all of this production to North America," vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Jim Wiseman said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Quotable
 
"With a date certain, NADA is strongly recommending that all dealers now focus their attention and efforts on submitting reimbursement claims prior to the looming deadline."   

    -- NADA Chairman John McEleney, in a statement on Monday's wind-down of the "cash-for-clunkers" program, CNNMoney.com, Aug. 20


"I understand dealers want to get their money back as soon as possible ... And they will get their money, but we've got to process it properly ..."

    -- President Barack Obama, in a radio interview released by the White House Thursday, The Washington Post, Aug. 20 


"I've never had a receivable like that in my life. As far as stimulating sales, there's never been a better program."

    -- Jim Seavitt, owner of Village Ford in Dearborn, Mich., referring to the $600,000 he said he's owed for "clunker" sales, Detroit Free Press, Aug. 21

Video Highlights
 

Keep or Scrap Cash for Clunkers? 
(CNBC)


Dealers, Detroit Look for Boost From 'Clunkers' (PBS)



Helping Dealers Left Out of New GM (Fox Business)



Media Coverage: The Tragedy of Dealer Closings (NADA-TV)



NADA's New Buy Now Campaign



No Dent in Demand for Some U.S. Cars (NBC)



Cutting Dealers a Mistake (Fox Business)



NADA on Floorplan Credit Crisis (NADA-TV)


John McEleney's Testimony to Senate Committee (CNBC)
 Senate Testimony on Floorplan Loans (NADA-TV)
 Banks Turning on American Car Dealers? (WTNH-TV)
 NADA Tackles Industry Crisis (NADA-TV)
 McEleney Speaks at NADA Convention (NADA-TV)
 Demise of Dealerships Leaves Big Dent (NBC)
NADA on the Front Lines  (NADA-TV)


Click here for more video reports.

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