Friday, August 7, 2009

Top U.S. Dealers Create Auto Stimulus Plan to Help Consumers Left Behind by Government's Cash For Clunkers Program: www.AutoStimulusPlan.com

/PRNewswire/ -- Some of the largest U.S. Automotive Retailers in the country created a privately funded stimulus program to provide up to $4500 in incentives for consumers to make it easier for them to get a newer more fuel efficient vehicle. The dealer funded Automotive Stimulus Plan was designed to complement the government's program and to compensate for some of the gaps that don't allow consumers to purchase pre-owned vehicles or choose a short term lease. "The government program has been fantastic for business but some of our customers have been disappointed because the programs rules left them behind," said Scott Gruwell from Courtesy Chevrolet, one of GM's largest dealers and one of the retailers participating in the Auto Stimulus Plan. "Letting consumers lease a new vehicle or buy a pre-owned vehicle makes it affordable for a lot of people who could not participate otherwise."

"The government's program helps approximately 10% of the market who qualify but the majority of the consumers who want to upgrade into a more fuel efficient vehicle are not eligible for the governments program," said Brian Benstock from Paragon Auto Group, one of the participating dealers in New York City. "Now we have a program that makes it easy for nearly all consumers with a vehicle that is older than a 2007 to get into a newer more fuel efficient vehicle."

The Automotive Stimulus Plan gives consumers up to $4500 in incentives towards the purchase or lease of a new or pre-owned vehicle with a minimum of 2 mpg of improved fuel economy. The program promises fewer requirements, easier paperwork and no minimum MPG requirements. "The government program is fantastic but there are still consumers who can't afford to buy new or who aren't eligible and the Auto Stimulus Plan is designed to help them," said Rick Case, owner of Rick Case Automotive Group in Florida, Georgia and Ohio. "Consumers will pay less a year to drive a newer car because the payments are so low and the gas and repair savings are so high."

The Automotive Stimulus Plan is a private sector program funded by retailers to provide incentives to consumers that will help the economy and the environment at the same time. To qualify for an incentive a consumer must select a new or pre-owned vehicle with a 2 mpg improvement over their current vehicle, which is the same requirement the government program has for SUVs, but this applies to all vehicles under the dealers plan. "The MPG requirements are lower because our primary goal is to help consumers that don't qualify for the governments program and to stimulate the economy through improved sales, jobs and spending," said Gruwell. "As a result, the environmental benefits will not be as big as the government program but it will help more customers get into more fuel efficient vehicles."

If a consumer does not have a trade, they can participate if they select a vehicle with 2 mpg better than the government's mpg requirement of 17 mpg.

"We have customers who measure their vehicles mpg weekly and they get 12 mpg but the government's calculator says they get 19 mpg so they don't qualify. Our program makes it easier for them get into a more fuel efficient vehicle by not having a minimum mpg requirement for their current vehicle," said Benstock.

The Automotive Stimulus Plan incentives vary by state and the make and model of the vehicle they select. Consumers can learn more about the program and begin connecting with participating retailers by visiting: www.AutoStimulusPlan.com.

Automotive Stimulus Program Requirements:
1. Current vehicle is a 2006 or older
2. Current vehicle is operable
3. Current vehicle has been owned for a minimum of 6 months
4. Current vehicle has been registered for a minimum of 6 months
5. The replacement vehicle has to be more fuel efficient by a minimum of 2
mpg

6. Incentives vary based on the consumers current vehicle and desired
vehicle (visit www.AutoStimulusPlan.com for details)


Incentives vary in some states due to state laws that regulate to automotive advertising and promotion.

The Auto Stimulus Plan will end on November 1st and will continue if the governments program expires before that date.

"We are very happy the $2 billion dollars of additional funding was approved and expect it to last through Labor day," said Vince Sheehy from Sheehy Automotive Group in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland and Baltimore, one of the participating dealers. "We also want to help consumers that don't qualify for the governments program with our Stimulus plan. To help consumers and the economy it takes a partnership between the public and private sectors and that is what is happening here."

"We have a lot of consumers who want to upgrade into a more fuel efficient vehicle but don't qualify for the governments program, so the Auto Stimulus Plan helps them, the economy and the environment at the same time," said John Malishenko, Director of Operations for the Germain Automotive Group who owns dealerships in Ohio, Arizona, Florida and Arkansas. "We don't mind giving consumers these extraordinary incentives because our goal is to take care of them so well that they will come back for service and buy all their future vehicles from our dealership."

The organization informs consumers that they should be patient if they cannot get through to the website this week, as the program is being launched and traffic levels may be high. When the governments program went live they experienced difficulties with high traffic volumes that affected their servers and the AutoStimulusPlan.com website may experience similar issues. Consumers are advised to visit at a later time if the site is not functioning properly.

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