Now we wait to see if dealers will be able to continue the momentum created by the cash for clunkers government incentive program. The deadline for submitting clunkers paperwork is Monday at 8 p.m.
The popular program lasted only a month, as the money quickly ran out. Consumers were able to receive a $3,500 to $4,500 rebate for their clunker toward a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle.
It’s clear the program was a success, but now inventories are low and there probably won’t be a flood of buyers to the showroom like there has been during the past month. Sales are expected to drop following the end of the program.
Vehicles traded-in during the cash for clunkers program will be crushed and recycled, instead of sitting in a vehicle graveyard.
"I think we’re going to see a decline of about 40% in the immediate aftermath," said Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com.
The sales drop will be because the inventory on dealer lots is low, and any time there is high demand and low inventory, the price increases, CNN Money reports.
"This is the first time in years that if someone came and said they were thinking about buying a car, I would tell them to wait," Anwyl said.
More than 650,000 new cars have been sold during the CARS rebate program. This is a much-needed sales boost to help the struggling auto industry.
"Improved consumer confidence and credit availability during the past six months have combined with the CARS program to lift industry sales out of their slumping year-to-date levels, which have been down approximately 35 percent year-over-year," said Gary Dilts, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates.
Time will tell if dealers and manufacturers will keep offering competitive rebates and incentives to bring buyers into the showrooms.