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Friday, 07 August 2009 07:33

Top U.S. Dealers Create Their Own Auto Stimulus Plan

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:


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