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‘Cash-for-clunkers’ a hit in Pulaski

WASHINGTON – The Senate is slated to vote today on whether to extend the “cash-for-clunkers” program through Labor Day by adding $2 billion to the program’s kitty.
At Duncan Suzuki in Pulaski, General Sales Manager Jason Lafon said several customers had taken advantage of the incentive program to trade in low gas mileage “clunkers” for more economical vehicles.
Wednesday, the local dealership had a 1991 Dodge van that had been traded in, parked in front of the dealership and adorned with balloons to promote the program.
Lafon said the dealership would be able to continue the program at least through Friday and be assured of getting government reimbursement for the $3,500 or $4,500 rebates being offered to customers for trading in gas-guzzlers for new, higher-mileage models.
The Chevrolet van being used to advertise the government-funded program was traded in by a customer who purchased a 2009 Suzuki SX4 all wheel drive hatchback, Lafon said. He said the van had a combined gas mileage of 15, compared to the hatchback’s combined 24 miles per gallon.
Lafon explained that the gas mileage of a vehicle is determined by combining the city and highway estimates.
If the Senate votes today to add funds to the program, government officials estimate it will fund an additional 500,000 new car sales nationwide, according to Associated Press.
AP also reports that the Senate is considering a series of potential changes to the bill, which was passed by the House last week.
However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said Democrats have enough votes to approve the measure and beat back any changes that would lead to an interruption in the rebates.
"There’s a significant majority that want to move forward with this legislation," said Reid, a Nevada Democrat.
The amendments, which weren’t expected to pass, included placing an income limit on those benefiting from the vouchers, terminating the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and requiring the government to sell off its shares in Michigan automakers General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.
Any Senate changes to the bill would require another vote in the House, something that couldn’t take place until the House returns in September from a month-long recess.
The government said Wednesday that more than $775 million of the initial $1 billion fund had been spent, accounting for nearly 185,000 new vehicles sold.
A list of the top-10 selling cars under the “clunkers” program, released by the government, shows that General Motors Co. had the largest share, accounting for 18.7 percent of new sales; followed by Toyota Motor Corp., with 17.9 percent; and Ford Motor Co., with 16 percent. Detroit automakers represented 45.3 percent of the total sales, while Japan’s Toyota, Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. accounted for 36.5 percent.
The Toyota Corolla is the top-selling vehicle on the list, followed by the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius and the Toyota Camry. Six of the top-10 selling vehicles are built by foreign manufacturers, but most are built in North America.

‘Cash-for-clunkers’ a hit in Pulaski

WASHINGTON – The Senate is slated to vote today on whether to extend the “cash-for-clunkers” program through Labor Day by adding $2 billion to the program’s kitty.
At Duncan Suzuki in Pulaski, General Sales Manager Jason Lafon said several customers had taken advantage of the incentive program to trade in low gas mileage “clunkers” for more economical vehicles.
Wednesday, the local dealership had a 1991 Dodge van that had been traded in, parked in front of the dealership and adorned with balloons to promote the program.
Lafon said the dealership would be able to continue the program at least through Friday and be assured of getting government reimbursement for the $3,500 or $4,500 rebates being offered to customers for trading in gas-guzzlers for new, higher-mileage models.
The Chevrolet van being used to advertise the government-funded program was traded in by a customer who purchased a 2009 Suzuki SX4 all wheel drive hatchback, Lafon said. He said the van had a combined gas mileage of 15, compared to the hatchback’s combined 24 miles per gallon.
Lafon explained that the gas mileage of a vehicle is determined by combining the city and highway estimates.
If the Senate votes today to add funds to the program, government officials estimate it will fund an additional 500,000 new car sales nationwide, according to Associated Press.
AP also reports that the Senate is considering a series of potential changes to the bill, which was passed by the House last week.
However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said Democrats have enough votes to approve the measure and beat back any changes that would lead to an interruption in the rebates.
"There’s a significant majority that want to move forward with this legislation," said Reid, a Nevada Democrat.
The amendments, which weren’t expected to pass, included placing an income limit on those benefiting from the vouchers, terminating the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and requiring the government to sell off its shares in Michigan automakers General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.
Any Senate changes to the bill would require another vote in the House, something that couldn’t take place until the House returns in September from a month-long recess.
The government said Wednesday that more than $775 million of the initial $1 billion fund had been spent, accounting for nearly 185,000 new vehicles sold.
A list of the top-10 selling cars under the “clunkers” program, released by the government, shows that General Motors Co. had the largest share, accounting for 18.7 percent of new sales; followed by Toyota Motor Corp., with 17.9 percent; and Ford Motor Co., with 16 percent. Detroit automakers represented 45.3 percent of the total sales, while Japan’s Toyota, Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. accounted for 36.5 percent.
The Toyota Corolla is the top-selling vehicle on the list, followed by the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius and the Toyota Camry. Six of the top-10 selling vehicles are built by foreign manufacturers, but most are built in North America.