Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NY Car Dealers Pull Out of Cash for Clunkers Program

Just as I heard on the radio that it might happen. I wrote in my post on Friday August 14, that:

"A local radio show host gave another possible reason this morning. He was talking about the cash for clunkers program and how cumbersome the program was for the car dealers. According to this radio show host who talked to enough number of dealers in the area, the participating dealers have had their cash for clunkers applications (40-page long) returned, because of some minor error here and there. Instead of correcting only those errors and re-submitting the applications, the dealers have to restart the application process from the scratch.

"It seems that the government computers are still mainframe computers from 1970s.

"Maybe it is a matter of time before the dealers say "@#$% it, it's not worth anyone's time.""

Well, the time seems to be now.

NY dealers pull out of clunkers program (8/19/09 AP via

"Hundreds of auto dealers in the New York area have withdrawn from the government's Cash for Clunkers program, citing delays in getting reimbursed by the government, a dealership group said Wednesday.

"The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which represents dealerships in the New York metro area, said about half its 425 members have left the program because they cannot afford to offer more rebates. They're also worried about getting repaid.

"The program offers up to $4,500 to shoppers who trade in vehicles getting 18 mpg or less for a more fuel-efficient car or truck. Dealers pay the rebates out of pocket, then must wait to be reimbursed by the government. But administrative snags and heavy paperwork have created a backlog of unpaid claims.

"Schienberg [the Association's president] said the group's dealers have been repaid for only about 2 percent of the clunkers deals they've made so far.

"Many dealers have said they are worried they won't get repaid at all, while others have waited so long to get reimbursed they don't have the cash to fund any more rebates, Schienberg said. "

With the government computer system that forces the dealers to re-submit a new application from scratch if there is ever a slight mistake in the original application, it shouldn't be a surprise that the dealers haven't seen much money and that they are pulling out. It's so unbelievably mainframe process and mentality it's hard to believe it is the work of supposedly tech-savvy Information czar and Technology czar of the administration. (Maybe it isn't, I don't know. )

This pales in comparison to what the health care "reform" would require in terms of information technology and system. Good luck with that, if the Congressional Democrats actually "go it alone".


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