In just the first week, about 250,000 cars have been sold through the CARS program, with thousands more deals awaiting processing. Apparently, Washington believes we have burnt through the cash… The program may be suspended. CARS applications will not be accepted after midnight tonight. Prepare for massive cancellations of your car dealer business.

If the auto industry is at about 10 million new cars per year sales level, 250,000 cars would come out to just about 1.3 weeks of car sales. Did every new car sold in the past week have a cash-for-clunkers trade-in attached?

FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Don’t fear the fax machine just yet… CARS may not be scrapped. Washington is trying to come up with an exten$ion of the program. Think about it, at a $4,000 average CARS rebate, 250,000 cars works out to 1 Billion dollars, the original program budget. At the estimated 10 million per year sales level, it would take 9 days to sell 250,000 new cars in this country. CARS did it in just 4. Seems like this program doubled car sales for a few days. I’m sure there were deals in the pipeline for some time before the official kick-off date, but this seems to prove there is tremendous pent-up demand for new vehicles. Or just an overwhelming desire to get out of those nasty, stained old minivans…