Public interest in Cash for Clunkers already slipping despite $2 billion more in funds

One industry analysis released on Tuesday forecast a steady decline in “clunker” related business even though the Obama administration and Congress added $2 billion to the program in recent days with hopes of matching the success of its first weeks. Sales during that period topped 250,000 and rebates exceeded $1 billion at least, according to government and industry figures.

“We see that interest dying down,” Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs said in an interview on the consumer auto industry resource group’s analysis of buyer intentions. “It’s still high. It’s better than pre-clunker levels, but it’s off its peak.”

Krebs said the original $1 billion funding for the program was “very low in relation to the size of the auto market.” This, she said, created a “Gold Rush” mentality where consumers stormed dealers at the end of July and in the first days of August to cement discounts with rebate funding running low.