Hyundai Gets Head Start on CARS

With the official rules of the Cash for Clunkers (or Car Allowance Rebated System - CARS) program 10 days away, Hyundai has already stepped up preparations to be in the front lines of the projected customer assault.

How, you may wonder...Well, the company is paying dealers the cash rebate until the government starts the electronic payment system. This means they will pay $4,000 to dealers for each clunker deal they close, Dave Zuchowski, vice president of sales for Hyundai Motor America told Autonews.

"The government electronic payment system has not been set up yet, he elements of the program will not change. Now we can fill a void. So the dealers are not upside down, we're providing them with cash advances," he told the source.

Cheating or not, Hyundai is still going ahead with their program against recommendations made by the U.S. Transportation Department and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to dealers to wait for the final rules.

The first dealer to get its cut from Hyundai's very own program is Alexandria Hyundai. Kevin Reilly, the dealer's president of course, praised Hyundai's initiative.

"It's indicative of Hyundai taking the lead," Reilly said. "So many of our customers were waiting for the program to roll out. We already knew the guidelines. What we were waiting for was the methodology to get paid. That's where Hyundai stepped in."

The first customer to unofficially benefit from CARS is Katherine Michon of Arlington, Virginia, who traded in her 1995 Ford Explorer, which has an average fuel consumption rating of 15 mpg, for a 26 mpg Hyundai Elantra Touring.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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