One country, so many clunkers: The U.S. government-sponsored “cash for clunkers” program has come to a halt after six short days of enticing car owners to sacrifice their gas-guzzling relics to the scrap-heap gods and drive off in newer, greener models.
Named the Car Allowance Rebate System, the program provides credits of as much as $4,500 for the purchase of a new car when turning in an older vehicle to be scrapped. Lawmakers had expected the program to generate about 250,000 vehicle sales and to have enough money to last until about Nov. 1.
“Any doubt that the CARS program would jump-start auto sales is completely erased,” said Greg Martin, a General Motors Co. spokesman. “More than 200,000 cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars are on the road and a vital industry gets a needed boost. We hope there’s a will and way to keep the CARS program going a little bit longer.”