The Cash for Clunkers program has come to an end and its impact can now be evaluated.
According to U.S. Department of Transportation, dealers submitted 690,114 transactions under the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), more commonly known as Cash-for-Clunkers. Those rebate applications account for $2.877 billion out of the $3 billion approved by Congress.
That number may rise considerably, however, as rejected filings are resubmitted. The DOT has said that filings approved after last nights deadline will be reimbursed. The DOT reported several issues with its servers approaching the deadline, which may account the fact that only $229 million in claims were filed during the last 36 hours of the program, while over the previous weekend $611 million in claims were filed.
A preliminary analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers says the CARS program boosted economic growth in the third quarter of 2009 by 0.3-0.4 percent, will help sustain an increased fourth quarter GDP and create or save 42,000 jobs in the second half of 2009.
“American consumers and workers were the clear winners thanks to the cash for clunkers program,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Manufacturing plants have added shifts and recalled workers. Moribund showrooms were brought back to life and consumers bought fuel efficient cars that will save them money and improve the environment.”
Ford and General Motors recently announced production increases for the second half of the year due to the demand generated by the CARS program. Honda also said it will increase production at its plants in East Liberty and Marysville, Ohio, and in Lincoln, Ala.
“This is one of the best economic news stories we’ve seen and I’m proud we were able to give consumers a helping hand,” said LaHood.