WASHINGTON—A trade group representing the automotive repair industry is opposed to another Cash for Clunkers program.
The Automotive Service Association wants automotive repair operations to lobby their federal legislators opposing the idea that's been floated for possible inclusion in a COVID-19 stimulus package.
"ASA has opposed the Cash for Clunkers program since it was first introduced in several states," the association said in a news release. "The most recent federal Cash for Clunkers program lacked a repair option, which hurt lower income vehicle owners who found themselves pressed financially in the purchase of a new vehicle with limited federal funds provided from the sale of their older vehicle."
Cash for Clunkers, also known as the Car Allowance Rebate System, was introduced in 2009 as a way to bolster the auto industry, which was left reeling in the wake of the recession. It also was intended to encourage the purchase of more fuel efficient vehicles.
The original law gave motorists a discount of either $3,500 or $4,500 for trading in their old cars and light trucks.
The effectiveness of the 2009 Cash for Clunkers endeavor was debated in the years that followed. One study, touted by the ASA in 2013, noted that the drivers didn't purchase more new vehicles, they only purchased them slightly sooner than they would have.
Still, the ASA contends that a return to a Cash for Clunkers program would spur new automobile sales and, in doing so, harm the automotive aftermarket by taking older vehicles off the road. The association instead is pushing for programs that it said would support small business, especially those in the aftermarket.
"The Paycheck Protection Program and other federal government efforts have been very helpful to automotive repair shops during these difficult times," ASA Washington Representative Bob Redding said in a statement. "We hope Congress will take a pass on including a job killing, Cash for Clunker program in the next COVID-19 stimulus package."