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Top Stories
U.S. Revs Up Clunker-Rebate Processing
Officials Set Sept. 30 as Goal to Pay Dealers on Clunkers
'Clunkers' Program Has Repaid 17% of Dealer Filings
Clunkers Pushed Up Prices in August, AutoTrader.com Says
Cops Say Clunker Solved a Crime
Top Stories
U.S. Revs Up Clunker-Rebate Processing

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Transportation is rushing to complete paperwork for the federal government's $3 billion "cash for clunkers" program by month's end. Fewer than 20% of applications from auto dealers for reimbursement under the program have been approved to date. The Obama administration said it has 3,000 people working on the task and plans to add 2,000 more by next week. Thus far, an estimated $500 million has been approved, covering about 120,000 of the nearly 700,000 vehicles sold through the program, which ended Aug. 24. The administration has begun "a government-wide mobilization of employees" and intends to finish processing rebates by Sept. 30, according to a DOT official. "At the end of the day, we just want to be sure that every dealer is reimbursed" for qualified sales, said National Automobile Dealers Association Chairman John McEleney. He welcomed the Sept. 30 deadline, although he said, "we'd like it to be sooner." Mr. McEleney estimated his multifranchise dealership in Iowa has been paid for 30 of the 140 vehicles it sold under the clunkers program and has more than $450,000 of rebates pending. Despite the administrative headaches, "on balance, it was a great shot in the arm for dealers," Mr. McEleney added.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Officials Set Sept. 30 as Goal to Pay Dealers on Clunkers

DETROIT — The Department of Transportation is kicking up efforts to pay dealers who sold cars under the federal cash-for-clunkers plan and hopes to process all outstanding rebate claims by Sept. 30. A spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who did not want to be identified because the government's data are not yet public, said the government will have 5,000 workers handling claims by the middle of the week, up from the 3,000 now. John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, says he's happy the government has set the Sept. 30 goal to pay dealers. "It's taken longer than we would like; a lot of our members are strapped for cash," he said. He's confident that all eligible applications will be paid, which had been a worry when it looked like the government was going to run out of money.
Source: USA TODAY

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'Clunkers' Program Has Repaid 17% of Dealer Filings

The “cash for clunkers” vehicle trade-in program has repaid 17 percent of dealer rebate applications nine days after the filing deadline, and is hiring more workers to speed up processing, an official said today. The program, which has come under criticism from retailers for what they say is slow reimbursement, has approved 120,000 filings from the almost 700,000 sales generated. The $3 billion effort has paid about $500 million, said the Transportation Department official, who declined to be identified. The retailers have complained about the application rejection rate, which the Transportation Department official said is declining. “We’re a little behind, but we’re getting there,” U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said of paying off the rebates.
Source: Bloomberg

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Clunkers Pushed Up Prices in August, AutoTrader.com Says

The cash-for-clunkers program pushed August's new-vehicle asking prices on consumer auto site AutoTrader.com up 2.7 percent from year-earlier levels. The average asking price on the site for new vehicles was $32,794 last month, up from $31,922 a year earlier. Dwindling inventory, which was already at a low 48-day supply Aug. 1, is driving price increases, [AutoTrader.com spokesman Brian Gluckman said.] “We're seeing the inventory of lower priced cars just decimated,” he said. “Even on the higher priced cars, there's just less inventory. So what's left is being driven up, because if you want one, you've got to pay.”
Source: Automotive News

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Cops Say Clunker Solved a Crime

Cash for clunkers didn't just sell a lot of cars. Police in Arizona say it helped solve a fatal hit-and-run, too. When Timothy Kissida tried to trade in his BMW on Aug. 9 in a cash-for-clunkers deal, an employee at Power Chevrolet Arrowhead in the Phoenix area noticed the car was damaged. Kissida, 23, said he had collided with a javelina, a piglike animal common in the desert, said James Holmes, a Phoenix police spokesman. The Power Chevy employee was suspicious and called police. "Because of that, we were able to get our bad guy," Holmes said. Police said the vehicle matched a description of the one that had killed a bicycle rider, Charles Waldrop, 52, a day earlier.
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
 
"At the end of the day, we just want to be sure that every dealer is reimbursed."

   
-- NADA Chairman John McEleney, on the "cash-for-clunkers" rebates, which the Transportation Department intends to finish processing by Sept. 30, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 4


Despite the administrative headaches, "on balance, it was a great shot in the arm for dealers."

   
-- NADA Chairman John McEleney, on the "clunkers" program, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 4



"We're a little behind, but we’re getting there."

   
-- U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, on paying off the "clunkers" rebates, Bloomberg, Sept. 3
Video Highlights
 

NADA Chairman on Success of 'Clunkers' (Fox Business)


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)



NADA on Floorplan Credit Crisis (NADA-TV)


 Senate Testimony on Floorplan Loans (NADA-TV)
 Banks Turning on American Car Dealers? (WTNH)
 NADA Tackles Industry Crisis (NADA-TV) 
 Demise of Dealerships Leaves Big Dent (NBC)
NADA on the Front Lines  (NADA-TV)


Click here for more video reports.
2010 Convention
 
 

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Click here for more money saving ideas or visit www.nada.org/convention and click the $$$ Savings icon. And for airline discounts, check out our airfarewatchdog in the money saving section.

Be in the know at the 2010 NADA Convention & Expo in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-15.

 
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