As Transportation Department Declares ‘Clunkers’ A Success, Some Dealers Disagree

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N/A(Photo: A nearly empty lot at Germain Ford on Sawmill Road is the result of the Cash for Clunkers Program.)
N/A(Photo: A nearly empty lot at Germain Ford on Sawmill Road is the result of the Cash for Clunkers Program.)

Since July 24th, Germain Ford on Sawmill Rd has sold 77 new cars as a result of Cash for Clunkers. The dealership has sold out of the Ford Focus and Escape, and has only a handful of Ford Fusions and Edges left on the lot. But General Manager Mitchell Gadd thinks those who took advantage of the program would have bought a car soon anyways.

“I do believe that going into the spring months, those are the people that would have been in the market then that have decided to trade now,” says Gadd.

Germain Ford salesman Jason Harris says there was also a lull in sales between July 1st – when the program was announced – and July 24th – when the program details were released and sales could begin.

“People were waiting – so these were people I would call up and see if they were ready. They wanted to hold off and see what was going to happen with the Clunkers. So it was very slow before the Clunker program, so we slowed down quite a bit and lost quite a bit of business that way,” says Harris.

Harris says the depletion of their inventory – the lot has gone from holding an average of 300 cars down to 110 – has hurt their ability to provide choices for customers.

Gadd says out of their 77 Clunker deals. The dealership has yet to receive a single government check. He says, it’s not a problem right now.

“But it will be, obviously, in the event that they don’t pay us,” says Gadd.

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