Clunker Cash Turbo-Charges July Dealer Biz

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2009 4:54 AM CDT
A sign welcoming consumers to participate in the "Cash for Clunkers" program is posted outside the Pride Chevrolet dealership in Lynn, Mass.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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(Newser) – Last week's rush of demand for new cars may may have exhausted the $1 billion earmarked for the "cash for clunkers" program, but struggling auto dealers saw their sales zoom, reports Reuters. Though exact figures aren't yet available, the program was certain to drive car sales to the highest levels of the year, beyond 10 million on an annualized basis, AutoNation estimates. One analyst predicted a new annualized sales rate of up to 13 million vehicles.

June was the year's previous high, with 9.7 million on an annualized basis. Just 4.8 million vehicles were sold in the first half of 2009, after 13.2 million moved last year. (Read more Cash for Clunkers stories.)