More clunkers than cash at car dealerships - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

More clunkers than cash at car dealerships

General Manager Stan Hurst of Capitol Hyundai says his dealership hasn't seen any clunker cash yet. General Manager Stan Hurst of Capitol Hyundai says his dealership hasn't seen any clunker cash yet.
A clunker sits on a local car dealer's lot destined for the scrap heap. A clunker sits on a local car dealer's lot destined for the scrap heap.

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - At Capitol Hyundai in Montgomery there are more than forty clunkers sitting on the lot, fruit born of the government's extremely popular "Cars for Clunkers" program. But while the customers are picking up new and dropping off old, something is missing: the money. General Manager Stan Hurst says the 'Cash for Clunker' fund owes him more than $160,000.

"I was worried about it over the weekend, but I think things are getting worked out," said Hurst.

David Ingram of Jack Ingram Motors is in the same boat. The clunkers program offers vouchers as much as $4,500 to people who trade in older, heavier polluting vehicles for new and much more fuel-efficient models.

Still, you won't find Ingram and Hurst complaining too much. Much like Larry Puckett in Prattville, all three dealers say the 'Cash for Clunker' is a great idea, coming along at the right time even though dealers first have to wade through a thick book containing more than 160 rules and regulations.

"It is cumbersome and challenging, but there are a lot of things in the car business that's cumbersome and challenging," said Hurst.

Hurst believes the clunker program has turned out to be a driving force in sales since it started July 24th. Business at Capitol Hyundai is up at least 15%.

And, there seems to be no sign the surge in business is stopping.

Dealers say the engines in the clunker cars are filled with chemicals which effectively make them useless and then the body is sold for scrap.

Stan Hurst and David Ingram say they expect to be paid within 72 hours. Meantime, the Senate has to vote to add another two billion dollars to the clunker fund.

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