Cash for Clunkers aftermath

September 21, 2009 8:57:16 PM PDT
Dealerships said they experienced one of their best sales months ever under the Cash for Clunker's program this past month.Honda salesman Ron Garcia told Eyewitness News he expects to write about half the number of bills-of-sale in Sept. than what he wrote in August. But he said he doesn't expect it to be a bad month.

"We've slowed down a little, but like I said in this community we are always selling cars," Garcia said.

Thanks to the government's $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program Bryan Honda had its best sales month ever.

"We had a record month, ended up selling 348 cars, never approached that number before so it was about a 30 percent increase," sales manager Eric Leyete said.

The government program which offered up to $4,500 off the price of a new fuel efficient car, proved to be more popular than anyone imagined.

But now dealerships across the country are paying for that windfall.

Nationally, some dealers fear sales will slump to pre-clunker numbers.

Dealers in Fayetteville said the military's influence has helped stabilize the economy. They said the problem was not a shortage of customers, but inventory.

Lafayette Ford sold out of its 2009 cars during the August sales rush. The dealership said it hopes deals and incentives on 2010's will lure customers.

"Good incentives on the Mustangs, so we are going in a little different direction," said Rusty Hinton with Lafayette Ford. "We are out of inventory from last month now we got it coming back this month so things have been looking real good."

Dealers said a lot of buyer's who didn't qualify for the cash for clunkers program are still car shopping for a good deal.

"And we are seeing not so much more traffic, but better traffic," Dwight Sullivan with Stewart Nissan said. "People are actually coming out with the intention of buying and not being afraid as they have been in the past."

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