'Cash for Clunkers' to come to close

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Confidence high, the government officials now want to wind down 'Cash for Clunkers' by Monday at 8:00PM to avoid going over budget.

"It has been successful beyond anybody's imagination," explained President Barack Obama Thursday.

The struggling, short-term stimulus plan quickly gained traction, recording more than 457,000 dealer transactions, worth $1.9 billion.

"They don't have any idea how many deals are coming in, how many they've paid. No one has any idea. They can't give us a firm figure," said Don Rickard, Vice President of Brewbaker Motors.

While dealers across the country love the business, they're still anxiously waiting for Uncle Sam to pay out reimbursements.

"Cash is king.  It's hard to run a business when you don't have cash," Rickard said.

Don't forget the vehicles piling up.  As many as 80 sit at one local dealer.

Not yet disabled, these old cars and trucks are a salesman's sole insurance policy.

"I have to make sure I get paid first, because if I go and crush them and don't get paid for them, I'm out, as is every dealer in town," Rickard said.

Now, the clock is ticking for car buyers as the program races toward the deadline.

"You can trade your car in, they'll take a little money off, but after Monday, you can't do it no more," said Timothy Summerlin of Montgomery.

Depending on what kind of car customers want, the deadline could be much sooner than 8:00PM Monday night.

At least one dealer has already stopped the rebate program, and others are considering shifting gears on Saturday--ahead of schedule.

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