The US government will suspend the popular cash for clunkers program after almost four days, telling Congress they'll burn through the $950 million budget by midnight. UPDATE: The Freep claims White House sources tell them the program's not been suspended.
Holy flip-flop, Batman! If the numbers the Department of Transportation claims they received from NADA are true, it would mean over 21,000 work trucks and 242,000 cars were potentially sold. But that flies in the face of the Freep now reporting White House official denying these reports late today that the program was suspended, and claiming all valid deals would be honored. Officials at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are now seeking ways to send additional money to the program; the U.S. House was set to adjourn Friday for a month-long break.
The decision to suspend the plan came after auto dealers warned the government today that it was in danger of losing track of how many trades had actually been made.
A survey of 2,000 dealers by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) found about 25,000 deals not yet approved by NHTSA, or about 13 trades per store. With 23,005 dealers asking to be part of the program, auto dealers may have already arranged the sale of more than the 250,000 vehicles that federal officials expected the plan to generate. That means an extra quarter million vehicles will be sold this year — potentially taking the U.S. annual sales rate above ten million units, a key metric in sustainability of the U.S. automakers. Well, as long as they sold some cars off those trade-ins.
Our sources at NHTSA tell us they're drafting a statement and should have it to us shortly. So, more coming soon as this story's still developing.