SUN VALLEY, CA – AUGUST 7: Johnny Bautista paints identifying marks on cars that were turned in through the Cash for Clunkers federal program at Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking junkyard on August 7, 2009 in Sun Valley, California.
Depending on which source you’re pulling from, the Cash for Clunkers program is either rapidly depleting its funding or losing consumer interest by the truck load (no pun intended). Officially introduced on July 27th, clamor to snag a piece of rebate pie reached its pinnacle on July 29th when rumors began to circulate that the $1 billion originally allotted was almost gone. On August 7th, the Obama Administration approved the funneling of an extra $2 billion imaginary dollars into the CARS program and modifying the cut-off date from November 2010 from mid Friday August 7th to Monday morning August 10th, dealer claims rose a staggering $116 million (28,000 vehicles). As of Monday morning, the total number of dealer applications submitted was 273,077, bringing the Cash for Clunkers running tab to a cool $1.15 billion.
According to Edmunds, those figures represent a 15% decline in public interest since Saturday, August 8th and, if the trend continues, will eventually decrease to pre-July 27th levels by the end of August. Detroit News, on the other hand, estimates that the CARS program is currently going through about $40 million a day which, if the trend continues, will exhaust its $3 billion budget by next month.
What this means to you: the same thing it did 6 days ago when you found out the EPA’s last minute revisions to MPG estimates screwed you out of a rebate.