Pace of Sales Under 'Clunker' Program Has Slowed: GM

Monday, Aug 10, 2009  |  Updated 2:15 PM PDT
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Demand for the 'Cash for Clunkers' program has slowed down since the government extended funding for the program, but the auto industry is still improving, General Motor's CEO Fritz Henderson told CNBC Monday.

"The month started out ok, it did slow down a little bit. We expected to have a healthy impact on a positive basis, and that's what we've seen," said Henderson. "I think our sales last month were encouraging, the industry was actually."

Henderson said he is still awaiting data reflecting the how much sales have dropped since the intial boom at the end of July, but said the anecdotal data suggests people were still visiting showrooms.

Robert Lutz, GM's vice chairman of product development, also told CNBC Monday that the slowdown does not represent the end of people taking advantage of the program.

"I think we are probably seeing a slower restart of it, but it seems to be catching on and the numbers are certainly above prior levels," said Lutz.

Despite the slowdown, there are still people out there who want to take advantage of 'Cash for Clunkers,' but are facing difficulty in doing so, Lutz said.

The program's rules regarding mileage improvement may be one thing hindering people from trading in their vehicle, he said.

"There are probably a lot of people out there that would like to trade on something new, but unless they trade way down, they're not going to find something that meets the requirements for the improved fuel economy," said Lutz.

Lutz came out of retirement and joined GM (OTC Bulletin Board: mtlqq) in July.

  • Slideshow: Top Clunker Trade-Ins and Upgrades
For more stories from CNBC, go to cnbc.com.

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