Persons anticipating buying a new set of wheels through a new federal voucher system will now hve to shift gears. The U.S. Government plans to suspend its popular “Cash for Clunkers” program amid concerns it could quickly use up the $1 billion in rebates for new vehicle purchases. The program features consumer vocchers in amounts of $3500 and $4500 made available on a first come, first serve basis. The amount of the voucher a customer receives is based on the upgrade in gas mileage moving from the clunker to the new vehicle. The program was to end when the budget was exhausted or on October 1, whichever came first. Ford Motor Company national incentive manager Andrew Ashman had earlier expressed concerns that the demand would be high.
“It’s a billion dollar program, which sounds like a lot of money, but its only 250,000 vehicles. In the grand scheme of things we know this money is going to go very quickly, because when it ends Congress has said its a billion dollars, 250,000 units there is no current plans at this point to extend it beyond the current amount of money that’s out there.”
Auto dealers expressed concerns of large backlogs in the system. Those concerns led to the suspension. Through late Wednesday,nearly 23,000 vehicles had been purchased through the program and nearly $96 million had been spent.