KEN THOMAS

STEPHEN MANNING

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Transportation Department says the popular Cash for Clunkers program generated nearly 700,000 new car sales and came under the $3 billion budget for the monthlong program.

The government said Wednesday dealers submitted 690,114 vouchers totaling $2.88 billion in the program, which ended Tuesday.

Japanese automakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan accounted for 41 percent of the new vehicle sales, outpacing Detroit automakers General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, which had nearly 39 percent.

The Toyota Corolla was the most popular new vehicle purchased under the program, followed by the Honda Civic, Toyota Camry and Ford Focus.

Thecar incentive program offered consumers rebates of $3,500 or $4,500 to trade in a gas-guzzler in exchange for buying a new car.