WASHINGTON—Auto shops make a living by repairing cars, so it's no surprise that a trade group representing the sector is renewing opposition to any idea of "cash for clunkers" as part of future COVID-19 economic stimulus efforts.
"As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the nation economically, the (Auto Service Association) is continuing to work to ensure that a Cash for Clunkers program is not included in the next round of stimulus legislation," the group said.
Now, the ASA is asking members to continue these efforts by sending a letter to their U.S. senators opposing this type of aid.
A 2009 program that provided cash for older cars during the Great Recession resulted in hundreds of thousands of older vehicles being removed from service, the association said.
"Automotive repairers have felt the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some auto manufacturers have proposed reviving the Obama administration's Cash for Clunkers initiative, which paid the owners of older vehicles as much as $4,500 to help stimulate the economy in the summer of 2009," the ASA said. "During this short period of time, approximately 700,000 post-warranty vehicles were taken off U.S. highways and out of independent repair shops."
The ASA, along with the Auto Care Association, the Tire Industry Association, the Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades, and the Automotive Oil Change Association, all spoke out against the idea in May.
Businesses represented by those groups primarily rely on post-warranty vehicles for their revenue, the ASA said.
Associations that represent makers of original equipment parts, also are keeping an eye on stimulus efforts and any plans that may affect the automotive markets.
"The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) are closely monitoring the need for any vehicle purchase incentive program," Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs for MEMA said in an emailed statement. "MEMA does not support legislation that would require an automatic vehicle scrappage program.We will continue to work with Congress to address the needs of the industry and consumers."