When Cash for Clunkers Version 1.0 hit the ground running like Hussein Bolt in the 400 meter relay, the U.S. government was caught a little flat-footed by the sheer volume of demand. As a result, after only a few days after C4C was started, the government was looking to shut down the program, and dealer ad dollars were twisting in the wind. Customers were confused, too, as many were unsure if the incentives were still available.
After receiving a $2 billion cash infusion to keep C4C running, the Transportation Department may be looking to do things a bit differently this time around. Automotive News is reporting that the Obama Administration is planning a "wind down" period for C4C. According to that report, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood thinks a judgment call can and must be made, and he assures dealers that they're going to get their money.
Dealers have been frustrated that money has been coming in slowly from the federal government, as the 411,000 clunker transactions logged thus far ($1.73 billion through Tuesday) has proven to be a clerical nightmare for the feds. Some dealers have been worried enough about getting their money from the government that they have allegedly demanded that customers sign a waiver clearing the dealer of any financial responsibility for the cash voucher amount.
Here's hoping the government and the Transportation Department handles C4C v2.0 better than they did the first time. If sales continue to be brisk, we'll probably know sooner than later.
[Source: Automotive News. subs req'd | Image: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty]]