Senate re-cranks ignition on Cash for Clunkers -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Senate re-cranks ignition on Cash for Clunkers

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The cash for clunkers program just got a refill. Friday, President Obama signed a $2-billion bill to extend the car incentive program.

It's exciting news for Albany car dealers and consumers.

Eddie Taylor says his wife has had enough of her gas guzzler.

"I came out to check on a car, to see if i can trade in on the clunker," he said.

So he stopped by Toyota of Albany to see about making a trade.

"If you can get $4500 off of a car, I think you'd be dumb if you didn't take advantage of it," he said.

It's the mindset of millions of Americans ready to trade in the old and ugly, for the new and shiny.

It's an easy way to save money, and it's not so bad for auto dealers either.

"It's been a huge boost, a lot more traffic on the lot," says Todd Deen at Nissan Tanner-Deen.

And the traffic will only grow. Thursday night the senate voted to re- crank the ignition on the cash for clunkers program, giving it more time and another 2-billion dollars.

"The hype and the talk has gotten people excited about coming out and looking for a new car. And we have had some people come out to see if they qualify, didn't, but still purchase a new vehicle," said Deen.

Meaning more money the auto industry wasn't getting before.

But there is a downside to the program. The government has yet to reimburse dealers the money they've handed out for clunkers.

Take Toyota of Albany for example. 21 cars line the lot, that's more than $80,000 out of their pockets.

Plus, it's a heck of a lot of paperwork.

"I'm just weary because for every deal, about five man hours are involved, 22 documents that go with everyone," said GM Alan Murphy.

Still Toyota of Albany says they're a big fan of cash for clunkers. They've even noticed a new kind of customer walk through their doors.

"A lot of them were used car buyers, now they're buying new cars because of the package," said Murphy.

A package that's boosting business for dealers everywhere, one clunker at a time.

Local dealers tell me now they're getting a lot of customers from larger cities.

Many big city dealers have nearly sold out of all the cars that qualify for the program, so people are getting online and heading to the smaller dealers well they still have SOME cars left.

Government officials believe the extension will fund an additional $500,000 new car sales.

If you want to know more about the program and find out if you car qualifies, there's a website for that.


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