Dealers look to build on 'clunker' momentum

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Cash-for-clunkers is over but don't be surprised to see a lot of deals that look awfully familiar.

"There were a number of cars that did not qualify for cash for clunkers. They're gonna find a way to give you a lot of money for those cars, including that $4500, in order to get you to come in and trade," said Don Hall, President/CEO Virginia Auto Dealers Association.

For example - check out the "2009 Automotive Stimulus Plan". It's a website with a catchy name - and sounds like a government program. Except, it's not. Instead, it's privately funded way for dealers to generate would-be customers who type their information into the site.

"Right now there's no official program coming, other than dealers being creative and ingenious in order to stimulate the economy and make a difference in Virginia," Don said.

The reality is, cash for clunkers was so successful, that VCU professor, George Hoffer, said, "I think we're gonna have a very slow month or two, if for no other reason, there's nothing to sell." Inventories are down - and may take months to build back up. Still, that won't be an excuse - at the dealership.

"I think you'll find that between the dealers and the manufacturers in the month of September, they're  gonna work very hard to create incentives for you as customers to come in," Don said.

Cash for clunkers also took 750,000 used cars out of the market. When supply is down, prices go up. So people may also find that, right now, their used vehicle may be worth more money.

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