Nearly half of dealers polled (unscientifically) about Cash for Clunkers said they wouldn’t want to see the program extended again, largely because of problems getting their money from the federal government.
Clearly, the Automotive News poll of 800 dealers found them to be aggravated by the way the program was run. Among the findings:
- 44% said they would not want Clunkers to be extended again, even if the program was modified; only 3% said they would take an extension without modification. The biggest complaint was the government’s slow reimbursement process, which is still ongoing.
- 23% of those dealers said they had to borrow money to cover the loss of cash they had from selling cars at a Clunkers discount.
- 10% said their cash reserves dwindled enough to put their dealerships in a serious financial jam.
- 43% said they are not very confident that they will receive full payment from the government.
- 18% went so far as saying they were not confident at all.
Obviously, the Transportation Department has said again and again that every Clunkers’ voucher will be paid in full. The program has dealt with internet problems and a backlog of paperwork.
Despite their gripes, 74% of those polled say the program would positively affect their bottom lines, but 5% claim they will lose money. It’s not clear why they think this will happen, though.