National campaign hopes to jump start auto industry

Vincent Manantan
Vincent Manantan
Keith Nakamura
Keith Nakamura

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A new national campaign is in gear to help jump start the auto industry. The program is designed to energize the economy, by boosting auto sales. It also aims to put safer, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient cars on our roadways.

The Car Allowance Rebate System, or Cash for Clunkers, reaches full speed this week.

People will be able to take advantage of this program and get a thirty-five or forty-five hundred dollar discount from a car dealer when they trade in their old car, and buy or lease a new one.

You do not need to register anywhere or at anytime for this program, however, there are a few eligibility requirements.

"Half of the people on this island got clunkers," Makiki resident Vincent Manantan said.

For the Honolulu Servco Auto Dealership, the Cash for Clunkers program couldn't have come at a better time.

"I think it gets people out of their homes and shopping so anything to get people shopping will help us," Servco Auto Leeward general manager Keith Nakamura said.

Many have already taken advantage of this unique rebate, but some have come up empty.

"It didn't work out but I still found what I wanted," Manantan said. "I was confused on the 18 miles per gallon, I found out it was an average between city and highway."

Here's some important things to know before you head to a dealership: Your vehicle must be less than 25 years old on the trade-in date, only the purchase or lease of new vehicles qualify, trade-in vehicles must get 18 or less miles per gallon, trade-in vehicles must be registered and insured continuously for the full year before the trade-in and you don't need a voucher, dealers will apply a credit at purchase.

"It's a little confusing so what we're asking our customers to do is come in, we'll take them to the Web Site to find out if their car qualifies or not," Nakamura said. "The response has been very good, a lot of the public are coming in asking about the new program."

The program runs through November 1st or whenever the funds are used up, whichever comes first. Go to to learn more.

"Come and check it out, if your car does qualify, come and check it out before the money runs out," Manantan said.