Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cash for Clunkers "a complete waste"

By Donald Sensing

As analysts predicted, now the the "Cash for Clunkers" program is ended, auto showrooms are as crowded as a church on Monday morning.

Now, customers at dealerships like Silko Honda in Raynham are few and far between, and inventory is once again accumulating.

Manager Adam Silverleib said business was “pretty intense’’ as a result of the federal stimulus program, with the dealership hustling to accommodate customers and handle the piles of paperwork required for them to receive reimbursement on vouchers. “Now we’re kind of back to where we were in the spring,’’ he said. ...

"It as probably, in the end, a complete waste of taxpayer money,’’ said John Wolkonowicz, a senior auto analyst at IHS Global Insight, Lexington forecasting firm. “The dealers, who were supposed to be the primary beneficiaries, many were forced into cash flow problems because the government didn’t pay them in a timely fashion."
Robert O’Koniewski, executive vice president of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association, said, "Dealers are reporting that showrooms are pretty dead right now."

Exactly what analysts said would happen.