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"Car Dealers Still Waiting On 'Clunkers' Cash


Can we say dealers left twisting in the wind over the long haul? 


"Car Dealers Still Waiting On 'Clunkers' Cash
 Mai Martinez

"Here's the figure: $2.878 billion. That's how much money the government owes car dealers for the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

More than $200 million of that is owed to dealers in Illinois and Indiana, so CBS 2's Mai Martinez checked with some of  them to see how much money they've collected from Uncle Sam.

Now that the popular program has ended, many dealerships are asking the federal government to "show me the money."

"Out of 142 deals they owe us for, we've gotten paid on seven," Lou Tornabeni of Ettleson Hyundai said.

"We had 102 cash for clunkers," Carm Scarpace of Westfield Ford said. "We've been paid for one."

With each Cash for Clunkers deal worth between $3,500 and $4,500, many dealerships are anxiously awaiting their government payday.

Some, like Advantage Chevrolet, which sold cars up until the last minute, have more than half a million dollars on the line.

"It was chaotic towards the end," Jason Roberts said.

Roberts says his dealership sold 142 cars under the program -- for a total of about $568,000 in government rebates. So far, the dealership has only been paid about $68,000 for about 17 of the deals, which means Uncle Sam still owes them roughly $500,000.

"It's not crippling, but it definitely affects the cash flow on a regular basis," Roberts said.

Roberts says his dealership can handle the cash crunch, but others may not be as lucky, especially if they didn't follow the government's strict guidelines for the program.

"We know of one dealer that sold 40 cars under the Cash for Clunkers programs, and out of those 40 cars, he's expecting to get paid on eight," Roberts said.

But even those who did follow the guidelines say they won't rest easy until they have the cash in hand. For Westfield Ford, that's about $400,000.

"You're always nervous when the money's out there, but you've got to believe in the government," Scarpace said. "It should come back to us."

The million-dollar – or should we say, billion-dollar -- question now is when? Dealers say they don't know, but it can't come soon enough.

One of the dealers told us, originally, the government was supposed to pay them within 10 days of receiving their paperwork. But with more than 690,000 cars sold under the program, that dealer says he's not expecting payment for another 30 to 45 days."



08/31/2009 4:59 PM
Dealers Still Waiting For Clunker Cash
Don Jorgensen
"Auto makers will release their monthly sales reports Tuesday and they're expected to show the first year-to-year increase since 2007.  While the Cash for Clunkers program is getting all the credit, local car dealers are still waiting for their cash.

During the month long program, Billion Automotive sold close to a thousand vehicles but has only been reimbursed for 272 of them.  Vern Eide sold over 200 cars and has only been paid for 27 of them, and that's fueling lots of concerns in the auto industry.

Billion Automotive cashed in during Cash for Clunkers, but owner Dave Billion is still waiting for the rest of his money from the government run program, $3.2 million.

"I wonder how long they'd wait if I owed them $3.2 million.  I think they'd be at my door or at least my banker's door," Billion said.

Even though Billion is beginning to get some of his reimbursement money, he's still concerned because he says there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the program.

When Cash for Clunkers was first announced, dealers were supposed to be reimbursed within 10 days of a sale. Billion says that hasn't happened.

"The program started in July and we haven't gotten paid for cars we sold back then, but then on the other hand we got paid for a car we sold last week.  They don't have an accurate format.  It's not like they're taking the first deals that were submitted and working those.  I don't know how they're doing it, no idea.  I know it's very random" Billion said.

Plus, he's had problems getting some vehicles qualified.

"We had a situation where we had a submission, they rejected it for multiple reasons.  We didn't see anything wrong with it, so we resubmitted it.  They rejected, we resubmitted it.  They rejected it, seven times and finally they paid it, and we never changed a single thing on it," Billion said.

But Billion thinks he'll get his money eventually, it just may take longer than what the government first said."


Entry #1,360


JAP69Comment by JAP69 - September 1, 2009, 12:01 pm
If I was an auto dealer The customer would not receive the new car Until I was paid for the trade. Make the deal and put the purchased vehicle in a sold status. The customer will drive their current car until the money is received from the Gov't. Then the customer would receive the new vehicle.
I heard that the people that traded a clunker will get a tax bill from The gov't for the rebate money. Treated as income possibly.
jarasanComment by jarasan - September 1, 2009, 12:28 pm
Boy oh boy, perfect example of the lack of business understanding on the Govts. part, cash flow basic stuff...Don't worry you'll get your money when we get around to it.

But you know what? The fed govt. sure knows how to pay its payroll on time, you see it easy to pay govt. payroll with YOUR money, but when it comes to giving it back to the taxpayers (even though it hasn't been collected yet from our grandchildren) that is hard 'cause they got their grubby dirty lazy GDmn hands on it.
konaneComment by konane - September 1, 2009, 1:05 pm
Thanks Jarasan!!! Looks like another redistribution scheme to me, dealers pay and don't get repaid. This article about 60% down the page indicates that monies allocated for this program have likely been stolen to pay corrupt politicians.

He should have a new article due almost any day. New info usually begins about a third of the way down the page. BTW he titles his articles in all caps.
konaneComment by konane - September 1, 2009, 1:09 pm
Thanks JAP!!! What you say makes perfect sense but likely wasn't the protocol designed into this bit of chaos. Read the same thing myself about taxing the 'rebate' as income. Also wonder if they're gong to try to tax dealers on the money they get back (if ever)?

Understand they're going to have a "Cash for Old Refrigerators" sometime in September. Guess we better eat more wood to pay for all this.
Comment by jim695 - September 1, 2009, 2:13 pm
I saw this on the news a few weeks ago. At that time, they said the program would have to be "suspended" because $90 mil had already been earmarked for trade-ins which had already taken place during its first week.

     I haven't done my usual research on this because I'm in a terrible hurry right now, but it was my understanding that the original allocation for "Cash for Clunkers" was $2 billion. The junk dealers were soon complaining that they hadn't seen ANY money trickle down to them (as promised) because the dealers who took the trades were crushing the old cars themselves.

     Anyway, the figures don't add up no matter how you do the math. Yet ANOTHER example of massive spending with NO accountability or oversight and, in my opinion, just another facet in the convoluted scheme to further devalue the American dollar until it becomes worthless, in order to force us to accept the proposed "Amero."

     I'll post something a little more informative later, when I have time to investigate this issue properly and get some verifiable facts and figures.

konaneComment by konane - September 1, 2009, 2:34 pm
Thanks Jim!!! Your comments are always on point and welcome anytime you have time. Have a great one!!!
time*treatComment by time*treat - September 1, 2009, 2:55 pm
And yet, some people can't wait for them to take over healthcare and decide what options we can and cannot have.
konaneComment by konane - September 1, 2009, 3:03 pm
Thanks Time*treat!!! Yep hanging onto every lie, oops I mean word, breathlessly waiting to stand in line waiting to be rationed. Love that nanny state!!!

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