GM Will Advance Cash to Clunkered Dealers

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2009 3:45 PM CDT
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood assured frustrated car dealers that they will be reimbursed for the popular Cash for Clunkers program.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – General Motors will start making temporary loans to dealers who have yet to be reimbursed by the federal government under the Cash for Clunkers plan, the Wall Street Journal reports. Dealers, some now irate, essentially did the same thing for customers participating in the trade-in plan—covering the government rebate out of pocket. But the federal money has been slow in coming, putting dealers at risk of a loss.

Some dealers have even opted out of the program until they get paid. Reimbursement or no, the program has had an astounding impact on car sales—as of today, dealers have submitted almost 500,000 claims worth $1.9 billion. GM says sales in the last two months have bested estimates by upward of 60,000 vehicles. The other two big US automakers, Ford and Chrysler, have not signaled they would institute a similar cash advance plan.