Industry News & Trends

Wondering what to do for Cash for Clunkers?

Even though the Cash for Clunkers Legislation has not passed yet, there is a lot of potential business already circulating around this program.  If you’re the first on the scene, you can seriously rule your market for anyone trying to find more information about the bill.

First:  Build your site and prepare your staff
“This bill is not official”, and those should be the first words out of your mouth, followed by a big BUT.  “But, when the bill is passed we want to be the dealership that earns your business.  Let me tell you a bit about the bill as it currently sits – have you visited the Cash for Clunkers page on our website (Checkered Flag’s Cash for Clunkers page)?  We are a participating Cash for Clunkers dealership, and ready to help you with the program when it does launch.  Basically, the program covers vehicles over X years old with a combined MPG of less than XX…”  you get the idea.

Second:  Find a site to partner with for better SEO
As this program is getting a lot of attention, chances are you will have a tough time climbing through the Google results and beating all the national news articles about the Cash for Clunkers program (tough to beat CNN).  Various sites are selling leads, but one is not only selling leads, it is also helping with some search engine exposure for your own site.  That’s because Brian Pasch is behind it.  The site is if you want to check it out – the pricing isn’t bad at all!  If you want to follow on Twitter, go to

Brian says:

Lead territories are exclusive and exclusivity is gained on a first come – first serve basis, so hurry to contact Carrie Valentine at [email protected] for signups.  You can also reach her at (732) 450-8200.  Or you can click here to view the 3 easy steps for setup.

I think most dealers are on the wait and see method right now, but there are a lot of leads to work from customers they never would have seen, even now.  I also bet that if the bill fails, manufacturers may come up with their own CFC program because demand will be so backed-up.

Third:  This is Temporary
Keep in mind that this program, if it is passed, is currently slated to run through September so we’re talking 3-4 months of opportunity.  You need to make as strong a run on it while you can!  You don’t need a long term strategy, you don’t need a fancy website, you just need to capitalize on this short opportunity as fast as possible.

Fourth:  Continued discussion on the forums
You’re more than welcome to comment on this article here, or join us on the DealerRefresh technology forums for further discussion.  Cash for Clunkers discussion here.

Who knew an argument with Jeff Kershner, in 2005, would lead to Alex becoming a partner with him on DealerRefresh. Where will the next argument take ...
Alex, Thank your for an informative article on Cash For Clunkers. TWITTER: Dealers and other automotive professionals can get up to the minute updates on the Cash For Clunkers Program and dealership best practices by following:

Also, I have made arrangements for my crew at ADP Digital Advertising to work together with Brian Pasch on registering dealers who use our services with Brian's national registry.
Alex, thanks for the coverage.

Dealers can get the CFC Participating Dealer badge and instructions on how to be added to the National Directory using this link:
Thanks Alex for the post. Dealers can get the CFC badge and instructions for the Cash for Clunkers National Directory on this link:
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  • June 18, 2009
thanks alex. great info!!
I give all the credit to Brian Pasch on this for leading the market and encouraging all of us to get onboard. Thanks Brian for your invaluable help and assistance!
Cash for Clunkers bill is on the way! If I'm reading my emails right, it looks like Obama is the only one left to sign it and not too much has changed.

And thanks for the comments everyone!
Yes, Senate Republican almost got the Cash for Clunkers bill taken out of the $106 billion wartime spending bill but ONE vote made all the difference.

Democratic sponsors needed 60 votes to keep the CFC program in the larger spending bill and that's exactly what they got.

Once the bill is signed, it will take about 30 days for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to setup the mechanics.

Dealers should start to rev up their marketing engines. Today our traffic spiked and we had a record number of first party dealer contact requests.

It was fun to watch the whole process was a nail biter.
Brian - yes it surely was a nail biter. Having support from just one vote made it happen.

I am a huge supporter for all dealers that are reaching out for new marketing ideas.

Will this cause other 3rd party lead providers to start biting their nails?
ADP Digital Advertising has created online advertising campaigns and deployed them for several dealers already. We have Search Advertising, Display Advertising using BT, RT and Site Targeting as well as Microsites and vanity URL's that are templated and ready to go... You can see an example of a dealership landing page that we modified from a Cobalt GM website, then attached a vanity URL to at for Thorobred Chevrolet in Chandler, AZ. And, you can see an example of our animated Flash based display advertising at

We are also supporting Brian Pasch's National Cash For Clunkers Dealer Registry by placing his registry's logo on our dealership websites with appropriate links to the registry, as well as sending the dealer's information to Brian so he can list them as a participating dealership. Inquiries about buying leads from Brian's registry site are referred to the designated point of contact. Since this program expires on 10/31/2009, we believe NOW is the time for dealers to get on board and start positioning themselves as the place for car buyers to go and take advantage of the program's limited time and funding.
Great post Alex.

I see you made the BIG time with your blog on the

Will you be retiring now?

Thanks Thomas. Unfortunately, Hampton is quite a few miles a way from us. If you're with can you please fix the posting to read "Virginia Beach dealership already marketing cash for clunkers"?

Thanks again! Very cool!
Looks like Cash for Clunkers is official. Obama signed the CARS Program Legislation today. The NHSTA has 30 days to get all the details together.
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    Stan Sher
  • June 27, 2009
Great post. This is the new craze and customers have been talking about it a lot. I think that dealers that promote it will be most successful.
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    Chris K
  • June 30, 2009
The only website dealers and consumers need to know about is - the only official website for this program which is not called cash for clunkers by the way. Dealers do not need to match the $3500 or $4500 like some websites have eluded too; and those that have decided to advertise they are matching funds $500 and up are making this far more complicated in this already competitive and cut-throat market. SO I get some dealers will sell their cars for invoice, match the CARS money, pass on the rebate and so on? Give me a break...
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    Chris K
  • June 30, 2009
Dealers can only register via one website: or by calling the NHTSA at (888) 327-4236.
Chris - I like people like you!
As of today, dealers still can not register. Yesterday Hyundai announced that they will advance their dealers $4,000 for every qualifying CARS sale made before the official NHTSA start around July 24th. Looks like Hyundai has raised the bar and game one. I wonder if any one manufacturers will follow this week with a similar plan.