MIC: Include bikes in Cash for Clunkers

CARS program receives $2B infusion

By Staff, Aug. 10, 2009
President Barack Obama signed a bill extending the “Cash for Clunkers” program but the Motorcycle Industry Council would like to see the program expanded to include motorcycles.

The extension, which passed through the Senate by a 60-37 vote Aug. 6, pumps $2 billion into the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program on top of the $1 billion originally tabled.

The Cash for Clunkers program, which provides refund vouchers worth up to $4,500 for trading in cars for more fuel-efficient models, has proven popular with consumers, with over $775 million out of the original $1 billion already spent. The additional funding is expected to provide enough funds to last until Labor Day.

Despite the initiative’s acronym, the MIC would like to see motorcycles included in the CARS program and entice consumers into trading their old gas guzzlers for a new bike.

Neither the original legislation nor the extension included any provisions for motorcycles. According to the MIC, legislators chose not to include motorcycles in the original CARS program because they felt the bill would face enough difficulty passing through the Senate. The extension comes before the Senate takes a month-long recess and the MIC says there wasn’t enough time to add motorcycles to the latest bill.

The MIC says it will work to get motorcycles included if the government re-visits the program in the future. There are two stand-alone bills related to the Cash for Clunkers program.

The first bill, S.1248, sponsored by Sen. Bob Carey (D-Pa.), would add motorcycles priced from $7,000 to $20,000 to the program. (The MIC advocates for motorcycles under $7,000 to be included as well.) A second bill, S.1200, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) would establish a temporary vehicle trade-in program, but does not include motorcycles.