Cash for Clunkers: Sales Sensation, Logistical Lemon

ELLSWORTH — New cars are selling like mad, and the government-sponsored rebate that has inspired most of the sales is driving dealers mad.


The federal “cash for clunkers” program offers $3,500 to $4,500 to people trading in old cars for new ones with better fuel economy. Known officially as the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), the subsidy program is intended to stimulate vehicle sales and help the staggering American auto industry, while putting more fuel-efficient cars and trucks on the nation’s roads and eliminating aging gas guzzlers.

Mission accomplished. Almost.

“It’s been my whole world lately,” Mark Politte, owner of Stanley Subaru, said last Friday. “From a consumer standpoint, it’s a great thing, but it’s fraught with frustration and worries. It’s an administrative nightmare.”


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