The $950 million federal "Cash for Clunkers" program that officially launched Monday (but has been unofficially running since July 1) has reportedly run out of money. Dealers were of two minds about
it as Michigan lawmakers press for more funds, Justin Hyde, Brent Snavely and Greg Gardner report.
Undeniably, the program has driven consumers to showrooms. "It's working so well, I've
got people mad at me because I can't take care of them," says Bill Golling, owner of Golling Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. But it also has proved to be a bureaucratic nightmare.
"Dealers are spending all day trying to submit the applications. ... I have not spoken to one dealer that has received approval, and or has been funded, for even a single transaction,"
says Joe Serra, owner of the Serra Automotive Group in Grand Blanc, Mich. Ken Czubay, Ford's vp of U.S. sales and marketing, says that, overall, the program has to be viewed as a "huge success" and
vows that Ford will work with the government to make sure that it accomplishes its goals.
As far as additional funding goes, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D.-Calif.) says she'll block more money
unless there's a revision to boost the gains in fuel economy between old and new models.
Read the whole story at Detroit Free Press »