This year, Labor Day in the U.S. will be celebrated on September 7. That's over two weeks away, and not that long ago, the government had said the C.A.R.S. (Cash for Clunkers) program would be funded through that date. Looks like the rebate system is once again a victim of its own success once again: a new report says that C.A.R.S. will be shut down Monday. The news is all unsourced and unverified at this point, but [UPDATE: It's official] all indications are that the wind down is really happening. More details are to be revealed tomorrow, but it seems likely that the entire $3 billion has been spent or accounted for.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood assured auto dealers yesterday that "there will be no car dealer that won't be reimbursed." GM has stepped up to the plate and will reimburse dealers directly while they wait for the government to send out the checks. The Auto Alliance says that almost 750,000 new vehicle sales were generated by C.A.R.S. in the last six weeks and "gives NHTSA credit for working closely with manufacturers and dealers to insure consumers could benefit from one of the most economically stimulative programs this country has ever seen." More details after the break.

[Source: AP, Auto Alliance, Automotive News]
Photo by AndYaDontStop. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.




PRESS RELEASE:

Statement of Auto Alliance President and CEO Dave McCurdy in response to the announcement that the CARS program is winding down:


"Automakers congratulate Congress, the Obama administration and NHTSA for developing and implementing a successful program. In less than 6 weeks the CARS program will have generated close to 750,000 new vehicle sales. With an average fuel economy increase of almost 10mpg the program has achieved its goals of stimulating the economy, enhancing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Consumers and communities across the country will reap the benefits of CARS for years to come.

The Alliance recognizes the challenge of developing and administering an innovative program of this magnitude on such short notice and gives NHTSA credit for working closely with manufacturers and dealers to insure consumers could benefit from one of the most economically stimulative programs this country has ever seen.

On behalf of the Auto Alliance we applaud this successful initiative
."

GM Statement Regarding CARS Program Rebates

In order to meet high customer demand for new fuel-efficient GM cars, crossovers and trucks under the Federal CARS (Cash for Clunkers) Program, the company will today begin providing cash advances to dealers which are equivalent to the amount of federal rebates which are being processed for that dealership's qualifying new vehicle sales. As a result, dealers will have the liquidity to run their businesses effectively in the midst of this extremely successful program, and to continue immediately delivering new vehicles to GM customers.

"Our sales performance in the past two months has exceeded our internal forecast by over 60,000 vehicles, largely driven by the CARS stimulus program," said Mark LaNeve, VP of U.S. Sales. "We want to do all we can to provide customers with timely new vehicle deliveries and dealers the liquidity they need to run their businesses. This will continue the sales momentum of our new fuel-efficient vehicles such as the Chevrolet Cobalt, Equinox and Buick Enclave."

GM intends to provide these advances for qualifying new vehicle sales already transacted under the CARS program, and will provide advances going forward as long as the CARS program is in effect.

About General Motors: General Motors Company, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 219,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors Company acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors Company can be found at www.gm.com
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