Cash for Clunkers connects with Georgians - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Cash for Clunkers connects with Georgians

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  The Cash for Clunkers program has allowed thousands of Americans to buy a new car while the economy is still in a recession.

For southwest Georgia car dealers it's meant a dramatic increase in sales. Many dealership are watching with anticipation to see if the government will approve another two billion dollars to continue the program. The Senate continued discussions today.

For Fordtown of Albany the program has added up to their best sales month in more than a year and a half. They want this program to continue despite the additional load of paperwork and red tape it's meant to dealers.

It's been a crushing blow to gas guzzlers and soon thousands more cars in the cash for clunkers program will meet the same fate.

Automotive Core Supply & Scrap is the only service locally authorized to scrap the cars. At Fordtown of Albany they've having a difficult time keeping inventory that qualifies on the lot.

 "Our traffic has increased I'd say at least 25% since they started the program," said Shawn Evans, Fordtown of Albany General Sales Manager.

Across town at Kia Autosport it's the same. For dealerships it's been a truckload of paperwork, but a headache they don't seem to mind.  "They are very much unaware of all the documentation that the government does require to get paid. It is a pretty extensive amount of documentation," said Melanie Lee, Kia Autosport General Manager.

 The dealers can't salvage these cars for parts in fact they've got to put a fluid in the engine that causes the engine to seize and then parts and all it goes to a recycling service.

"Most of the cars that come in they need to be crushed there are few that normally we would keep or wholesale it to someone and it would still be a good car for someone but, because it does meet the program guidelines we will crush it," said Evans.

Meaning more fuel efficient vehicles will be driving the highways helping customers save on gas. It's been a boost to dealerships, some of whom have suspended the program, waiting for the government to decide if it will continue. "It's kind of a wait and see attitude right now," said Evans. 

"We definitley hope the Senate is in favor of this," said Lee.

If the program continues and you want to find out if you qualify, check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations site which allows you to plug in your car's make and model to see if you qualify.

The Senate must decide whether the program will continue before they leave on a month long vacation later this week.

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