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Cash for Clunkers wraps up, but could have lasting effects

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The popular Cash for Clunkers program ended Monday night, but dealers got an extension until 8:00 Tuesday night to file the overwhelming amount of paperwork. While the program was considered “wildly successful”, it didn’t prove so for everyone.

Cash for Clunkers was a three billion dollar program that resulted in the sale of more than half a million cars, but it also brought some business to a halt.

“That program’s been running about 35 days and in 35 days it hurt my business,” said Raeford Lovitt of Lovitt Motor Company.

Raeford Lovitt says as long as Cash for Clunkers was up and running, his business was down and out. “We generally sell 60 cars a month and we’re probably going to sell 30 this month.”

Lovitt’s lot saw the effects of consumers enticed to trade in their clunkers for new, fuel-efficient cars rather than used ones. “I wouldn’t blame them for doing so, but it’s hurt all the independent dealers, not just me but all the dealers in Wilmington,” Lovitt said.

It’s now going to be a lot harder to find a used car that costs less than $7,000 dollars because many of them in that price range were turned in for Cash for Clunkers.

Lovitt says he doesn’t think half the cars that were turned in were actually clunkers, but rather cars dealerships could have re-sold.

Now that the brakes have been put on Cash for clunkers, Lovitt hopes his business will turn around.

Lovitt also expects a ripple effect in the months to come. Once he sells the cars that are currently on his lot, he doesn’t expect there will be many to take their place since they were turned in for Cash for Clunkers.

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Story summary

videoThe popular Cash for Clunkers program ended Monday night, but dealers got an extension until 8:00 Tuesday night to file the overwhelming amount of paperwork. While the program was considered “wildly successful”, it didn’t prove so for everyone.

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