Well, that was quick. Six days after the government inked the “Car Allowance Rebate System” (better known as “Cash for Clunkers”) into law, a Virginia woman became the first to use a CARS rebate — on a Hyundai.
Katherine Michon of Arlington, Virginia, traded her 1995 Ford Explorer Limited towards a 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring. As it averages a mere 15 mpg, the Elantra Touring, which posts an average 26 mpg, is indeed a CARS-worthy upgrade.
The purchase, though, comes courtesy of some legwork on Hyundai’s part. According to the automaker’s research, nearly 11 percent of consumers surveyed indicated they were delaying the purchase of a new car until the Clunkers legislation was enacted. Hyundai’s expedited things by offering short-term cash advances for the CARS rebate.
“We appreciate what Washington has done,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America,” but we thought it was imperitave to get funding to our dealers so they could implement the program right away.”
Consumers are eligible for up to $4500 in rebates through the CARS program. According to Hyundai,13 of itsmodels qualify for the CARS program, which mandates new cars achieve at least 22 mpg combined, while light trucks need to carry an average of 18 mpg.