Now that Department of Transportation appears to have made good on their promise that all dealers would receive their Cash for Clunkers rebate by the end of September, it seems as though a new problem has arisen. According to sources, thanks to the massive buying spree spurred by Cash for Clunkers, and its abrupt end 4 weeks ago, September promises to yield the worst sales numbers in nearly 30 years. By the end of the month, the Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) of sales is expected to be at 8.4 million which, despite the crisis that mired the industry for 2008 and most of 2009, is the lowest the SAAR has fallen since December 1981. The reason, analysts say, is simple.
By the end of Cash for Clunkers’ run in late August, an estimated 400,000 sales had occurred earlier than they would have without the hefty government incentive, and about 60,000 of them were borrowed from September’s projected totals. In addition to the lost 60,000, analysts also expect to lose another 40,000 potential buyers who will be disappointed with post-Clunker prices. Total, sales will take a 100,000 unit hit.