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Monday, Aug. 24, 2009 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
'Clunkers' Computers Hinder Applications, Dealers Say
'Clunkers' Sales May Contribute to a SAAR of 14.5 Million Vehicles in August, Analyst Says
NADA Presses Hard to Extend Deadline for 'Clunkers' Submissions
Race Is On to File Clunker Deals
Cash for Clunkers Program Heads Into Final Day
Top Stories
'Clunkers' Computers Hinder Applications, Dealers Say

Auto retailers trying to send repayment requests in the U.S. “cash for clunkers” program have been hindered by glitches in government computers today, a dealer group said. The National Automobile Dealers Association reiterated its call for an extension to the program’s deadline for submitting applications to Aug. 31, from 8 p.m. [EDT]. The clunkers computer system has crashed or was shut down three times since the government announced the cut-off date on Aug. 20, putting “million of dollars” at risk for dealers who may not be able to submit valid claims in time, the McLean, Virginia-based association said. The group pressed for the Obama administration to change the submission deadline while holding to today’s target for consummating clunkers deals with buyers. The clunkers plan ... has recorded more than 625,000 dealer transactions worth $2.58 billion in rebates, according to Transportation Department data released today. Sasha Johnson, a Transportation Department spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Source: Bloomberg

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'Clunkers' Sales May Contribute to a SAAR of 14.5 Million Vehicles in August, Analyst Says

DB Equity Research Automotive estimates that the U.S. light vehicle SAAR in August as a result of the "clunkers" program will be in the range of 14.5 million units, with sales up 8.1 percent year-over-year and up 30 percent over July sales. Through 20 days of the month, several automakers’ have indicated that retail sales are up 40-50 percent, the firm reported.
Source: DB Equity Research Automotive

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NADA Presses Hard to Extend Deadline for 'Clunkers' Submissions

WASHINGTON -- NADA is asking the Obama administration to extend the deadline for submitting “cash for clunkers” applications to August 31, while keeping the August 24 deadline for consummating clunkers transactions. Dealers are reporting today that the “clunkers” computer system has crashed or was shut down for the third time since the announcement Thursday that the program would end tonight at 8 p.m. Dealers across America risk millions of dollars in losses if they are unable to submit valid “clunkers” transactions because the government’s computer system is unavailable. NADA is urging the administration to extend its deadline so customers and dealers can participate in this program with confidence.
Unless the administration extends the deadline for submissions, all "cash for clunkers" reimbursement applications must be filed by no later than Monday, August 24, at 8 p.m. EDT. Dealers who have been unable to successfully submit “clunkers” transactions for whatever reason should immediately contact NADA at with the subject line “Unable to Submit.” Please also provide a copy of the e-mail to NHTSA at Include as much documentary evidence as possible in your e-mail.
Assuming the government’s computer problems are resolved today, applications submitted prior to the deadline that are later rejected may later be corrected or resubmitted, even if done after the August 24 deadline.  According to NHTSA, it will not process invoices that have been “created and saved,” but not submitted. Barring an announcement from NHTSA to the contrary, dealers must submit the transaction to be eligible for reimbursement and invoices in the “created and saved” status at 8 p.m. EDT tonight will not be reimbursed.

Source: NADA Newswire

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Race Is On to File Clunker Deals

After a weekend sales surge, auto dealers are racing to file for "cash for clunkers" rebates before the program ends Monday evening. The U.S. Department of Transportation had received 625,000 applications for "cash for clunkers" vouchers totaling $2.58 billion as of Monday morning. That total is within the program's $3 billion budget. But with hours to go before the deadline for car dealers to submit applications to be reimbursed for vouchers given to car buyers, those numbers are sure to expand. Obama administration officials said last week they were confident that they would be able to honor all requests for voucher reimbursement. Dealers have said they feared that the program might run out of money prematurely, leaving some dealers on the hook for the vouchers. They have asked the administration to extend Monday's 8 p.m. deadline for submitting paperwork for reimbursement.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Cash for Clunkers Program Heads Into Final Day

It was a race to the finish for dealers and customers alike as the government's Cash for Clunkers program headed into its final lap on Monday. Over the weekend, car dealers across the country watched their lots grow empty as crowds rushed to trade in gas guzzlers after the government said that the $3 billion rebate program would end at 8 p.m. EDT [today], two weeks earlier than expected. Adding to the urgency, some dealers said they would stop Cash for Clunkers sales even earlier to make sure the government reimbursed them for the rebates — or because they didn't have enough eligible cars left. Standing outside one of his Hyundai dealerships in Appleton, Wis., John Bergstrom said customers traded in 100 clunkers throughout his fleet of 20 dealerships on Saturday and 100 the day before. They were his two biggest sales days during the clunkers program. "That's about as good as it gets," Bergstrom said. "It's going out with a bang." But the new sales left many dealers worried about not being reimbursed by the government. As of Friday, dealers had been reimbursed for just a small fraction of the billions in sales.
Source: The Associated Press

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"I have people upstairs, that's all they're doing — paperwork. The backlog is a nightmare, and it's starting to be a nightmare at the end."

    -- Michael Freeman, general sales manager of Martin Main Line Honda, near Philadelphia, said the clunkers program has been "overwhelming," with 115 clunker sales and big surges in customer traffic at the start and now at the end, The Associated Press, Aug. 24

 "Eighty percent of them haven't even been reviewed yet."

-- Geoff Pohanka, who heads the Pohanka Automotive Group in Maryland and Virginia, said his dealerships have 500 clunker deals entered into the system and only 10 have been paid,, Aug. 21

 "It's going out with a bang."

-- John Bergstrom, a Hyundai dealer in Appleton, Wis., said customers traded in 100 clunkers throughout his fleet of 20 dealerships on Saturday and 100 the day before, The Associated Press, Aug. 24

Video Highlights

Keep or Scrap Cash for Clunkers? 

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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