Cash for clunkers hailed a 'big success'

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The federal aid program that gave consumers rebates for trading in old, inefficient vehicles was applauded Monday for increasing business in the Birmingham area.

Town and Country's Ford dealership said Monday the Cash for Clunkers program was a big success.

"It's been great," said Bill Sain, a sales manager. "It's the greatest program in the 43 years I've been in the car business. It's been great."

Sain said their auto sales were up 50 percent in August. The number one vehicle they sold was the Ford Focus. Also hot was the small SUV, the Edge.

The Waldon family of Pleasant Grove brought their old van to the lot Monday looking for a deal and drove off with an Edge.

"They offered a rebate and Ford offered a $3,500 rebate as well," said Gene Waldon. "Thought I would take advantage of that."

The Cash for Clunkers program, which was scheduled to end Monday night, required drivers to provide proof of ownership and insurance for a year. The idea was to spur sales and get inefficient fuel mileage vehicles off the road.

"I think you are going to to find some immediate results," said Sain. "Today, I'd buy 200 new Fords if they could produce them. Inventory is the lowest we've had in eight."

There were a few cars left on the lot Monday afternoon.