Low inventory to support 'Cash for Clunkers'

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The federal goverment's Cash for Clunkers program is back in full force. Friday, the House passed a bill to add an additional $2 billion to the popular program.

However, just as the Cash for Clunkers program gets back in gear, there is a new concern: dealers nationwide are running out of fuel efficient cars.

"The business has been tough for several months, so I was excited about it," says Gary Fitzhugh.

Fitzhaugh says he usually has a full lot, but the new rebate incentive has business booming. And the general sales manager is finding it difficult to keep the approved fuel efficient cars on his lot.

"If we had known it would be this successful, we probably could have prepared a little bit better," said Fitzhugh.

Creative marketing sent an influx buyers to the Gulfport dealership in hopes of taking advantage of the latest component of the Obama Administration's stimulus plan.

"I think you would be hard pressed to find any amount of money in any of the stimulus that's been nearly as successful as this program," said Fitzhugh.

Scott Allen agrees.

"It's been wildly successful for everyone involved," said Allen.

While the sales manger didn't use any creative marketing to promote Cash for Clunkers, the dealer is leading South Mississippi in the number of clunkers collected.

"I never thought we would be at 52 cars less than a month after it started," said Allen.

As far as inventory problems, Allen says they are an exception to the rule.

"We have about 300 cars currently in inventory. We did a pretty good job in watching this coming towards us, so we made sure to stock up on those fuel efficient models," said Allen.

Now that there's $2 billion more set aside for the program, Allen is confident those cars won't be around for long.

Some identity thieves are already trying to exploit the program in hopes of obtaining personal information. If you are considering taking advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program, there are some things you need to know:

  • You do not need to register or receive a voucher to participate in the program. It is the dealer's responsibility to fill out all appropriate paperwork.
  • Not all dealers are participating in the program.
  • Not all new vehicles will qualify for receiving the credit.
  • The amount of the credit is $3,500 or $4,500 depending upon the difference between the combined fuel economy of the vehicle that is traded in and that of the new vehicle.

There are other restrictions on the program. For more information, click HERE.

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