Regardless of how it will be remembered, the already infamous Cash For Clunkers plan will end on Monday.
The program was launched with $1 billion in funding, which was blown through in the first week of the program, creating a tense on-again off-again couple of days. Congress then refilled it with $2 billion more, which is expected to be gone by Labor Day.
While the program sent hundreds of thousands of people flocking to dealerships with their trade-ins ready and their wallets open, dealers are complaining that they’re not getting reimbursed quickly enough. Even the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) spoke up and asked for a resolution to the program. (You know things aren’t working when the NADA asks to end a program that’s sending people to dealers!)
Cash for Clunkers is largely responsible for increasing production at Ford, GM, and Chrysler, but what happens now that the program is ending will be interesting. I’m watching for a drastic drop in demand, resulting in more overstock at dealers and then production slowdowns at manufacturers’ plants. Again.
If you’re at all considering taking the government up on its $4,500 offer on your car, this is your weekend to act.
Did you, or will you, take advantage of Cash for Clunkers before it’s history?