Clunkers hits the brakes, industry sequel revs up


Amid concerns that enough Clunker deals have been struck to burn through the entire $3B allocation, the program will go into the garage today. But major dealers are ready to replace it with the new Auto Stimulus Plan. The National Automobile Dealers Association thanked the government for providing clarity on the endgame, and a consortium of large dealers are keeping the concept alive with

NADA  said it’s been informed that all applications for Clunker reimbursement must be submitted by the deadline, regardless of when the transaction is consummated, and steps will be taken to resolve imperfect applications even after the deadline is passed.

As for the new private plan, Brian Benstock, GM and Vice President of Paragon Automotive in New York said, “The government jump-started our industry and now the industry has jump started the economy. They did their job getting the industry going and we need to do our job keeping it going.”

While 90% of auto owners did not qualify for Clunkers, many of them will make the much easier cut to get into ASP. And the top-line trade-in value will be the same $4.5K.

Here are the parameters of ASP:

Current Vehicle Requirements

* Vehicle must be older than 2007

* Vehicle must be in working condition

* Vehicle has been owned and registered for at least 6 months

* No minimum mpg requirements

* Vehicles that are not eligible are: salvaged vehicles and vehicles with floor or frame damage

Replacement Vehicle Requirements

* Replacement vehicle must have a minimum of 2mpg improvement

* New and Used Vehicles Qualify

* All makes and models

* No minimum mpg requirements

* No price restrictions

* This plan is not valid in combination with the governments C.A.R.S. program

RBR/TVBR observation: This is not a program with universal participation, which is all the more reason those who ARE participating will want to let the local community in on that piece of information. Many will probably come to you, but it would obviously be of primary importance for sales staffs to be aware of all local participants. The ASP website is a great place to start looking.