Thursday, 29 January 2009 03:36

‘Cash For Clunkers’ is Introduced in Senate

'Cash for Clunkers' Splits Automotive Assocations

A fleet modernization program has been proposed by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., which would establish a national incentive program for voluntary retirement of fuel-inefficient vehicles through the Department of Energy. Princeton University’s Dr. Alan Blinder referred to this policy option as “Cash for Clunkers”—government payments to remove older, less-fuel-efficient or high-polluting vehicles from America’s highways.

The program would compensate drivers $2,500 to $4,500 for exchanging their fuel-inefficient vehicle for a more fuel-efficient vehicle. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy predicts that, if implemented, the program would save motor fuel and reduce greenhouse gases and ground-level ozone levels.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) supports a Cash for Clunkers program if it includes these following important points:
● a vehicle repair option for consumers;
● programs administered by the states;
● participation should be tied to emissions and improving air quality;
● repair cost allowances should be sufficient to address emissions repairs.


Congress, No Cash for Clunkers, says ARA

Congress is developing a stimulus plan to address the serious concerns with the American economy.  One provision under consideration would provide car owners’ federal funds if they trade-in their older vehicles for vouchers to obtain newer, more fuel efficient vehicles. The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) urges the U.S. Congress to address deficiencies in vehicle retirement programs that could adversely affect American consumers’ pocketbooks and limit their motor vehicle choices.  ARA opposes any vehicle retirement legislation that restricts the sale of high quality, low cost “green” recycled auto parts.
Over the past several months, professional automotive recyclers have articulated our concerns to members of Congress and stakeholders regarding restrictive vehicle retirement programs that prohibit the sale of high quality, low cost “green” recycled auto parts for consumers.     A voluntary program for a consumer turning in a vehicle on the front end quickly becomes a compulsory program for other consumers on the back end, from reduced access to replacement parts for vehicle repair and inflated prices on those essential replacement parts.  The harmful effects on the independent automotive repair facilities in the United States that employ more than 850,000 people.
Vehicle retirement programs can paint a bull’s eye on countless small businesses in the professional automotive recycling industry by eliminating some of the very vehicles, vehicle parts, and marketing opportunities that the industry needs to survive.  Since “recycled” parts used in the repair and upkeep of mid to older vehicles is the back bone of commerce for our nation’s automotive recyclers, any restrictive motor vehicle retirement programs pose serious economic threats to the industry.
Current proposals being floated contain “vague” language on appropriate measures to ensure that the deregistered automobile or light-duty trucks are handled in an environmentally responsible manner.  Also, no standards are suggested for setting fair or adequate payment levels for the processing of vehicles that are turned in under this program.  As professional automotive recyclers, our business is to efficiently and environmentally responsibly process end-of-life motor vehicles.  Unfortunately, we time and time again are subject to unfunded mandates related to vehicle retirement or automotive component disposal concerns.  
Contact ARA at http://www.a-r-a.org or call (703) 385-1001.

TIAA Opposes ‘Cash for Clunkers’

Seven trade associations representing the automotive aftermarket on Jan. 6 opposed inclusion of a “Cash for Clunkers” program within the economic stimulus plan currently being considered in Washington.
Cash for Clunkers would use taxpayer dollars to purchase and crush older vehicles into blocks of scrap metal. There is no evidence that the program will achieve the stated goal of boosting new car sales. In a show of solidarity, the seven groups submitted a joint letter to the U.S. Congress urging lawmakers to reject a program that for no proven value and would do significant harm to the automotive aftermarket. The associations that signed the letter are: Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association (AERA), Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association (APRA), Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), Automotive Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA), Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and Tire Industry Association (TIA).
Under the current proposal, the Cash for Clunkers program would provide federal taxpayer money to purchase and crush older vehicles. “These programs have been generally rejected by the states since they are not a cost-effective means to improve fuel mileage, reduce emissions, or spur to new car sales,” the seven groups said in the letter. “Conversely, Cash for Clunkers programs threaten jobs in the automotive aftermarket since they remove the opportunity to repair and upgrade existing cars and raise the price of used cars and parts.”
The Texas Independent Automotive Association supports the stance taken by these seven aftermarket associations because the bill promotes the purchase of new vehicles when the older cars could still be repairable.  In order to prevent a Cash for Clunker bill from being included in the economic stimulus, TIAA needs you to send letters to the House and Senate leadership, as well as your elected representatives in Congress, to express your opposition to the inclusion of this provision in the economic stimulus legislation.  
You can easily send an e-mail to the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, your Senator and your Congress person by visiting http://capwiz.com/aftermarket/home and clicking “Take Action.” Just enter your name and address, and the letter will be automatically forwarded to the appropriate offices.
See also p. 23 this issue for more on ‘Cash for Clunkers.’
For more information, contact  the Texas Independent Automotive Association,  4726 Dodge St, San Antonio, TX 78217, 210-946-5060, or online at www.tiaa.net