Shown above are signs posted today along Coldwater Road in Fort Wayne at Glenbrook Hyundai. That dealer, along with many others, was proceeding with "cash for clunkers" promotions despite the off and on again signals out of Washington about the program.
Many of the dealers had already committed to advertising and promotion programs for this weekend - including live radio remotes -when the word came overnight that the program would be suspended because it was believed that the original spending ceiling of $1 billion had already been reached.
That confusing and conflicting signals had reached consumers through the media was evidence by a late morning cut-in on WAJI 95.1 from Fort Wayne Nissan assuring listeners that the Fort Wayne dealership was still going forward with "cash for clunkers." Fort Wayne Toyota had ads on in heavy rotation on the same station promoting cash for clunkers.
Almost all new car dealers are reporting huge jumps in consumer visits since the promotion started late last week. A representative from a large South Bend dealer related to FWOb last weekend that the promotion had jumpstarted retail auto sales from a nearly dead stop.
There are some analysts, however, who caution that the promotion may be drawing in prospective buyers who were likely buyers later in the year and that the result may be a drop off in showroom traffic at the end of the year and the beginning of 2010.