Uncle Sam might be ready to give you up to $4,500 if you swap an old polluting car or truck for a brand new - and more fuel efficient - vehicle. The Sutton Fleet Modernization bill, which passed the House yesterday and will now head to the Senate, requires the car being traded in to get less than 18 mpg, one mpg more than a previous and similar bill. Buyers who want the $4,500, need to buy a new car that gets at least 10 mpg more than the old one. The total cost of the program could reach $4.5 billion, as up to a million vouchers can be be issued to car purchasers. This measure is similar to European cash-for-clunkers bills except that the European rules focus more on the age of the car being traded in rather than on mileage improvements.
The Auto Alliance was pleased with the House passage of the bill, saying, "Now more than ever we need this fleet modernization proposal to be passed by the Senate and quickly signed into law by the President." Their full statement is after the jump.

[Source: Automotive News (subs. req'd)]


Automakers Applaud House Passage Of Sutton Fleet Modernization Proposal

Washington, D.C. – The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) today praised the House of Representatives for supporting a fleet modernization, or "cash for clunkers," bill sponsored by Representative Betty Sutton and a broad, bipartisan group of lawmakers. Automakers believe a well crafted fleet modernization program will provide two beneficial effects: helping to stimulate auto sales during the current economic/credit crisis and replacing older, less fuel-efficient vehicles with cleaner, safer, more fuel-efficient ones.

Alliance President and CEO Dave McCurdy stated, "The passage of this legislation is good news for manufacturers, auto dealers, suppliers and most importantly consumers. With just released May auto sales reporting a 31 percent drop from just a year ago, we can't afford to wait any longer. Now more than ever we need this fleet modernization proposal to be passed by the Senate and quickly signed into law by the President."

Around the world, consumers are already benefitting from similar programs, and the resulting economic stimulus has been significant. In January, Germany implemented a fleet modernization program. At the end of the first month of the program, sales in Germany were up 21% over 2008. Corresponding sales in the U.S. were down 41% for the same period. As of this writing, fleet modernization programs have been adopted in China, UK, Brazil, Spain, Austria, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia, and are under consideration in several others.

McCurdy added, "The U.S. is already well behind other major economies in adopting a fleet modernization program. Since January, Congress and the President have been discussing this issue and there is now growing concern that many buyers are actually delaying purchase decisions until the Congress acts. "

The Alliance is a trade association of eleven car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.

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