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‘Cash for Clunkers’ ending, has been big help for Rockwall auto dealers

Cash for Clunkers

By J.J. Smith. Now that the federal government has announced the ”Cash for Clunkers” program in ending Aug. 24, Rockwall area auto dealers say the  program has been a big help for boosting sales during the past two months, although collecting payments has been very difficult.

Sales have increased about 25-30 percent at Lakeside Chevrolet and Heritage Buick Pontiac GMC, according to their respective owners/general managers Bob Holliman and Robert Bobo.

Rockwall Ford-Mercury and Rockwall Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep also participated in the program and increased sales, according to local sources.

Randall Noe Hyundai chose not to participate in the program, according to Sales Manager Scott Morlino, because they knew being paid by the federal government could be difficult and they preferred not to take that chance.

The Clunkers program has really stirred the public up, according to Holliman.  Many more customers have visited the dealership and inquired about the program.

“It’s a heck of a deal for car and truck buyers!”

On the other hand, he said it’s a two-pronged situation because it’s been an administrative nightmare for dealers and the goverment.

“The government vastly underestimated the popularity of this program!”

Heritage owner Bobo agrees that the government has been very slow to pay on the paperwork they’ve submitted.

“But we still have benefited from the Clunkers program. Not only did it boost sales, we’ve even sold cars and trucks to people who didn’t qualify but decided to purchase from us anyway,” he added.

Bobo added that another State program may be of interest to people who are thinking about purchasing a new car but couldn’t qualify for the $4,500 Clunkers discount on a new auto.

“Aircheck Texas is a similar program which offers $3,000 on trade-ins for older cars and trucks.  It ran out of money a while back, but by September there should be money in the program again so that drivers in North Texas can take advantage of the trade-in program.”

For more information about the program, see Aircheck Texas.

Holliman and Bobo said that both dealerships still have a good selection of cars and trucks to choose from with the Cars for Clunkers program through August 24.

The Lakeside sales department will be open Friday and Monday until 7:30 pm. and Saturday from 8 am – 5:30 pm.

Heritage’s sales department will  be open at Friday and Monday nights until 9 pm and Saturday from 8 am - 6 pm.

Both dealerships are closed Sunday.

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