AAIA predicts ‘Cash for Clunkers’ consumer backlash

Published 8:03 am Tuesday, July 28, 2009

To the editor:

As new car dealerships ramp up advertising to attract motorists to the showroom using “Cash for Clunkers” as an incentive, we anticipate a consumer backlash once reality replaces the hype and car owners realize that “Cash for Clunkers” is nothing more than a clever slogan for a program to spend $1 billion of our tax dollars to fund a government-subsidized vehicle trade-in to help new car dealers sell cars.

Consumers will soon learn that they are simply trading in their vehicle and will still have to jump through all of the hoops to qualify for and purchase a new vehicle.

The much heralded fuel efficiency and environmental benefits of purchasing a new vehicle could easily be achieved through better maintenance of an existing vehicle or trading up to a newer used vehicle.

Any savings from improved miles per gallon will be lost from the costs involved in destroying and disposing of the “clunkers.”

We continue to strongly oppose “Cash for Clunkers” because it prematurely destroys vehicles with many more years of useful life, denying consumers more affordable used vehicle options.

Kathleen Schmatz
President and CEO
Automotive Aftermarket
Industry Association (AAIA)
Bethesda, Md.