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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Business

David Lewkowict

Atlanta, GA

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Dealerships Red Light Cash for Clunkers

August 5, 2009 - 8:59 PM | by: David Lewkowict

Two Atlanta dealership groups have temporarily suspended the Car Allowance Rebate System  or  CARS.  Better known as Cash for clunkers, the program gives consumers $3,500 – $4,500 to get gas guzzlers off the road.

Jim Ellis Automotive, a 12 dealerships family owned group of foreign and domestic car lots and Steve Rayman’s 13 dealerships say they have stopped doing cash for clunker deals.

The dealers started submitting applications with the federal government more than a week ago but have yet to receive any money.  Jim Ellis says they have nearly $800,000 in reimbursements on the line. 

The program originally had $1 billion allocated and now waits for the senate to approve an additional $2 billion.

Steve Rayman said well over $1 million of that money is his.  He says he will not do CARS deals until the Senate approves the cash.

Gary Dodson, Operations Manager for Nalley Automotive Group, a 13 dealership group says they will be able to continue for the foreseeable future.  ”We’ll carry it on in some form or fashion.”  

Nalley is owned by Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE ABG), the nations sixth largest with nearly 90 car lots. Dodson says even if clunkers is cancelled they are glad to have buyers back in their showrooms and the deals won’t end.  ”We will partner with our manufacturers.  We’ll come up with some exciting programs to take some momentum from what’s been established with this program.”

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