NADA: ‘Clunkers’ Program Exactly What Consumers, Economy, Auto Industry Needs



WASHINGTON (July 27, 2009) - With interest running high on day one of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program, also known as “cash for clunkers,” the chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) said he expects the program to succeed in boosting vehicle sales and the nation's economy.

“The federal incentive of up to $4,500, coupled with automaker rebates and the auto sales tax deduction, puts a new vehicle within reach for many American families,” said NADA Chairman John McEleney, a multi-franchise dealer from Iowa.

Noting the success of similar programs in other countries and a handful of U.S. states, NADA began promoting a “cash for clunkers” initiative before Congress last November.  Since then, the association has worked with Congress, the White House and the U.S. Department of Transportation to craft a fleet modernization program that made sense for consumers and the auto industry.

McEleney noted that CARS has more than just economic benefits. “By scrapping junkers and putting newer, more efficient models on the road, we simultaneously stimulate the economy, boost the auto industry and curb greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

The $3,500-$4,500 down payment assistance through the CARS program - a first of its kind and different than any other program offered at a dealership - coupled with the auto sales tax deduction passed as part of the President's stimulus package as well as manufacturer and dealer incentives have created the perfect environment for car and truck shoppers.

“With the tremendous public interest leading up to today, we anticipate that the $1 billion in funding for the cash for clunkers program will go quickly,” he said.

McEleney also applauded the efforts of transportation officials responsible for getting the program up and running in just a few short weeks.

“A lot of work went into getting us to where we are today,” he said. “Dealers, lawmakers and federal officials deserve a great deal of credit for putting this program together in such a short period. Now is an incredible time to buy a new car.  In my lifetime, I have never seen incentives like this available for new car and truck buyers.” 

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