Cash for Clunkers Program is an Early Success in Amarillo

Lesley Watson normally spends her days helping premature babies, but today she is just one of dozens of people that took time off work today to head into a car dealership.

"I know a lot of people who couldn't get a car or who needed a car are benefiting from this," said Watson.

She's a model citizen for the car allowance rebate system.

She's trading in an old SUV for a Toyota Prius,"I know it averages 50 miles per gallon," she said.

Dealerships all over the high plains say they're seeing an influx of customers.

And all the managers we spoke with say this has been a necessary shot in the arm, for them and the environment.

"Business is up and going good and I think this cash for clunkers will just be a plus," said Greg Lair, the owner of a Buick, Pontiac, and GMC dealership near Canyon.

"We've been busier over the last three days than we have been in a long time. Which is a great blessing to see customers that maybe we haven't seen before," said David Saied, a manager at Street Toyota.

But critics say the opposite, the program is lenient on miles per gallon estimates. And environmental groups like the Sierra Club, who were originally in favor, now say they're against trucks and SUV's from being sold because they're not helping the environment.

Something Lair disputes.

"Seven percent of the funding goes to trucks, so it's going to get used up fast," said Lair.

For more information on the cash for clunkers program click on the links below: