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Cash For Clunkers A Huge Hit, Locally

Black Voice News.com, News Report , Posted: Jul 30, 2009

Tyrone and Linda King drove their 1986 Cadillac Fleetwood into the lot of Fontana Nissan Saturday, and drove out a in a new Altima Coupe. They were among the first customers in line at 7:00 a.m. to trade in their car under a new law dubbed cash for clunkers.

Car dealerships in the Inland Empire are getting old cars in droves right along with their nationwide counterparts after President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that allows car dealerships to give up to $4,500 credit for the purchase of a new car in exchange for an older car that qualifies. It was a madhouse yesterday, said San Bernardino Nissan sales associate Lenny Moore Saturday.

After the launch of the governments cash-for-clunkers program this past weekend, dealers say it is boosting sales. Despite pages of regulations, last minute changes to car eligibility and other gripes, about 16,000 dealers have signed onto the program. The government is spending $1 billion on the program in hopes of encouraging new car sales.

Moore said interest has been high since Obama signed the bill July 1, but Friday was the first day people could take advantage of it because that was when the guidelines were released.

The idea behind the law is to boost auto sales and get gas-guzzlers off of the road. Qualifying trade-ins need to have been made after 1985, get fewer than 18 miles per gallon and have been owned and insured by the person making the trade for a year prior.

Dealers apply a credit at the time of purchase, and the buyer must use it for the purchase or lease of a new vehicle. The amount of the credit issued varies depending on how many more miles per gallon are gained with the trade, according to Thurston.

Yesterday we had a guy bring in his 1986 Buick Skylark that he bought eight years ago for $500, said Palm Springs sales associate Arturo Boano. The guy got $3,500 of credit for the truck. He felt like he won the lottery, Boano said.

The program is scheduled to continue through November, or until the $1 billion of funding runs out. Traded-in vehicles are demolished. For more information about the program, visit www.cars.com.

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