Cash for Clunkers Running on Empty in August
The Pasch Consulting Group (PCG), automotive Internet marketing specialists, polled dealers over the past week regarding Cash for Clunkers sales. The number of qualified transactions is staggering considering that many dealers waited to start booking sales until Monday July 27th. The dozens of dealers that PCG contacted had completed the paperwork on at least 15 Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) transactions.
On Monday July 27th dealers were able for the first time to enter these completed transactions into the NHTSA database for review, approval and reimbursement. Dealers have not commented if any of their deals were rejected by the NHTSA review process. Once approved, the NHTSA will wire monies directly to registered dealer bank accounts.
David Wilson, CEO of the Preston Automotive group in Maryland told PCG that the Preston Autoplex outside of Baltimore had completed over 60 car and truck sales. Classic Chevrolet in the Dallas Fort Worth area has 30 deals done according to General Manager, Hagen Durant. John Cleaves, GM at Midway Chevrolet in Phoenix said that his Chevy dealership has been flooded with car buyers and that over 20 deals were completed.
Conservative reports say that 18,000 dealers will register for the NHTSA CARS program. If 50% of the dealers were very cautious and waited to do CARS transaction until the official starting date of July 27th, that leaves 9,000 dealers that have been making deals for at least for one week.
To create their projection PCG also had to figure in the Hyundai franchises that started selling CARS deals on July 1st. When you consider these numbers you can see how the $1 billion in funding could be exhausted in the first 30 days of the official start.
Close to 250,000 cars could be processed under the Cash for Clunkers bill without additional funding. If 9,000 car dealers have completed 15 deals by today (9,000 x 15 = 135,00 cars), the money for the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) will be gone in a few weeks.
Brian Pasch, CEO of the Pasch Consulting Group commented“ Our prediction earlier this month that the CARS funding will run out by Labor Day weekend is looking very solid. Dealers are writing into our Cash for Clunkers blog (www.cashforclunkersfacts.com) with feedback that confirms this prediction. Each registered dealership could easily have 10 sales in the wings. If that is true, funding could run out by August 10th.”
Pasch added “ The NHTSA should pick up the phone and call President Obama as soon as the data from CARS sales can be analyzed; the NHTSA will be the first to know the true numbers. Someone has ask Congress to start the process of requesting additional funding. If the program will only get the initial $1 billion allocated, then all the hard work the NHTSA did to get the program started will come to a quick stop.”
The NHTSA has indicated that they will be posting the remaining funds for the program on the official website for the CARS program (www.cars.gov). The countdown clock has yet to be posted but we predict that dealers will have to stop taking deals when the funds get near zero due to processing delays.
Congress will have to act quickly to allocate additional funding before the program comes to a screeching halt. If that is the case, consumers hope that Congress will amend the language of the bill according to the Cash for Clunkers petition located at: www.nocashforclunkers.com. The petition has over 3,000 signatures and will be sent to sponsors of the original legislation next week.
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