• Aug 20th 2009 at 9:30AM
  • 19
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]]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      People say it is a good idea to negotiate the new car price before you tell the dealer that you have a clunker!

      Muscle Dude
      • 6 Years Ago
      Most dealers hate the program. Just end it already. They did not cross the 't's and dot the 'i's before they started and dealers losing money. http://www.cardealerreviews.org/?p=116506
      • 6 Years Ago
      That looks like a fine Ford Expedition in apparently good condition. What a waste to scrap this vehicle. Why not export it to some 3rd world nation where the citizenry can keep their clunkers running for years on duct tape, WD-40, spit and gum.

      These Expedition would have made a great minibus enterprise or delivery vehicle by a 3rd world street entrepreneur. But here in America, the land of wastefulness, we find it easier to scrap just the steel, export it to China and bring it back in the form of stuff to be sold in Wal-Mart.

      • 6 Years Ago
      We have a 98 F150 that only has 48k miles on it. it has been our "Old Faithful" for 12 years now, helping dozens of friends and family move, bringing home TVs/furniture and lugging around the dogs/camping trips. There is absolutely no reason to get rid of it, especially with the low miles. But dammit I could use a few parts off that Expedition that is at least a couple years newer. But nooo, someone had the bright idea to crush all the clunkers. Smart.

      Side note, my friend and I went car shopping last night. She's looking at Civics, 3s and tCs. Typical college age Asian girl cars. The dealers in the bay area have NOThing on the lots. Every dealer we went to said the same thing "C4C has wiped us out. We don't know when were getting replenished." Dublin Toyota had about 10 new cars. Plenty of trucks and SUVs though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You can get anything off that expedition but the engine and frame. Assuming it isn't going to a scraper who is crushing all the cars he gets right away. There are some scrap yards that operate under that business plan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a great photo of unabashed wastefulness at its best - a late '90's full size domestic SUV rotting on the street, traded for scrap metal. Honestly, it was just a heyday for the domestics, making money at any cost.
        • 6 Years Ago
        For SUVs in general, perhaps. But Ford did slightly better than the rest at reading the writing on the wall and using those sales to change direction. The rest...not so much.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't agree with people who say we don't need suvs and trucks..... For example in places like rural places around the world where the road is nothing but a trail.... and the only thing that can get supplies there is a vehicle that has good ground clearance and awd due to very ueven terrain with big rocks and people there use suvs and trucks...... so your saying we should use little tiny cars to deliver supplies just because their good on gas...... or how about a family that has a 4 ton boat to haul that they should use a prius to pull it? heck the boat probaly weights more than the car!!!... or how about a family that was in a wreck in a compact car that was nearly killed because drive drove a small and now they buy a suv for they fear for their safty are you going to tell them suck it up....... i don't mind people that drive little cars to help the environmet... i just hate the ignorant ones that think that everyone should drive a littke tiny car just because they do.... don't forget the most important thing that feeds us all... the farmers are you going to tell them stop using your trucks becuse their bad on milage... are you going to tell them to pull a trailer with a prius instead of their suv andf pickup trucks.... and if you are then i suggest you start growing your own food........ not everyone drives a truck or suv for a fashion or status statment out here in the world where suv and trucks are use to keep you alive a fashion or status statment doesn't really matter we use them to survive and keep everyone else too.... i just hate ignorance and those that thing they know everything.................................................
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Here's hoping the government and the Transportation Department handles C4C v2.0 better than they did the first time."

      They'll screw it up. Government has NEVER ran ANYTHING efficiently. Post Office, Amtrak, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. You get the idea. Even our great military relies on lessons learned during every war and requires a shear overload of manpower or technical advancement to win.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "BTW, Eastern Europe is actually a beautiful place to visit. Great people. Great food."

        Not disputing that claim at all.

        The Govt and it's "efficiency"? Yeah, I'll be waiting for you at the airport upon your prompt return sir.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh yeah, US Govt FTL!!! It truely is abysmal here.

        Go live in Eastern Europe for a few months. Gotta love perceptions.

        • 6 Years Ago

        You are missed my point entirely. I said the Government has never ran anything efficiently. That is a fact. Look it up for yourself and you will see how many billions of dollars these programs lose every year due to mismanagement and inefficiency. That has nothing to do with how proud I am of my country.

        BTW, Eastern Europe is actually a beautiful place to visit. Great people. Great food.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So Ford and GM are increasing production of their fuel-efficient cars (Focus, Ranger, Escape, Cobalt, Canyon/Colorado) just as the the hype & demand tapers off?
      Great timing, indeed. How many freshly-built compact cars will pile up in dealer inventories and require rebates to move them over the next few months?
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's just the problem. Ford, GM and the others all did what the government said they should while on Capitol Hill, build to demand. So they all researched and decided to cut production to match demand. The government swoops in and articifially influences demand leaving the automakers with little inventory. Now with inventory levels so low they are now in danger of any supply chain disruptions. So now they need to get some models inventory back to pre-CARS levels to avoid any issues in the supply chain.

        I just hope they don't go overboard and get into the rebate war like you mentioned.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wind down? Congress ought to prepare a "windbag" plan because that is all they are.

      And although the Transportation Dept got $2B, the dealers have only seen about $30 million or so. Typical gov't inefficiency - trust those idiots with your healthcare over your dead body, but not mine, thank you.
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