Cash for Clunkers Not on Empty Yet

August 4, 2009 9:25:55 PM PDT
Here in the Valley one dealer is closely following all the rebate rules regarding clunker trade-ins so he doesn't stall out on the way to the bank.Action News reporter John-Thomas Kobos shows us how the dealer is protecting his investment and why one used car salesman warns to put on the brakes if you are considering trading in your old car.

In the back of this Ford dealership in Clovis several dozen clunkers sit waiting for their engines to be destroyed.

"We do not have to seize the motors until we are funded by the government," said general sales manager James Cagle.

Cagle keeps this pile of keys under ... lock and key.

"So we just keep them right here until we finally get all the applications in and all the funding done," said Cagle.

The 'Cash for Clunkers' program offers rebates to get drivers out of old and into new cars. The program is in its 9th day and still hasn't run out of gas. The question now is will congress come through with the money to keep it rolling? So far more than one-hundred thousand new cars have been purchased in the U.S.

The popularity of 'Cash for Clunkers' in the Valley can be seen in our Exclusive Action News Poll Conducted by SurveyUSA. 59% believe the program is good. 37% said it was bad.

"I think it will be a way to get a lot of the older cars off the road," said Morris Davis.

So some car dealers are raving about the sales but they are concerned about receive their rebate. One used car salesman said it's the customers that should be worried.

"Down the road they're gonna be stuck with a 4-5 maybe 6 hundred dollar new car payment," said David Henderson.

Used car sales have slowed at Own a Car Fresno so it may come as no surprise that salesman David Henderson isn't wild about the program. He even said 'Cash for Clunkers' could end up turning into the next mortgage crisis ... with drivers unable to keep up with their car payments.

Henderson: "You save much more money by going used as opposed to new; even regardless of the cash for clunkers."

Still new car dealers claim cash for clunkers has reenergized a failing automobile industry.

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