‘Clunkers’ drive life into July auto sales

Aug 03, 2009 | 01:02 PM | Corinna Petry

For Ford Motor Co. the last week of July stood "as probably the greatest one-week energy conservation program that came out of Washington ever," George Pipas, Ford's U.S. sales analyst, said Monday during the company's monthly vehicle sales conference call, referring to the huge boost in sales received from the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

The program caused "a stampede to the showrooms," according to General Motors Co.

It has caused the carmakers to revise upward their annual sales estimates by as much as 1 million units, particularly if the Senate adds another $2 billion to the $1 billion already granted. The legislation was approved by the House last week but awaits action by the Senate and President Obama's signature (AMM, Aug. 3).

In fact, GM and Ford both said their vehicle inventories were at the lowest levels ever at month-end, and whether or not the Clunkers program continues with additional funding each is likely to boost production through year-end.....

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