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We all meet at the corner of Wall and Main

For all the griping about a U.S. federal bailout of Wall Street, everybody in the auto industry knows this business runs on credit.

And universally, we know that credit is fast disappearing. If not for the particular part of the business that we are in, then it is for some of our rivals, or our customers, or our suppliers.

We all know colleagues who are in deep trouble. It doesn’t necessarily matter how competent they are, how well they run their business, how smart they are, or whether they are suppliers, manufacturers, distributors or retailers. If they’re in the car biz, they probably have a case of the shorts.

It shows in the comments posted on our Web site.

Several writers commented on a story about many dealers getting slammed by tougher floorplanning loan policies.

“What additional collateral can a floorplan lender ask for?” says one

294862 adds “Typical! Good times and all the finance companies chase you. A little bit of a slowdown and none can be found.”

The operator of a Texas sales and finance company says it harder to run his business catering to subprime borrowers. “The greed and mishandling by Washington and Wall Street will place these people in a very tough place,” the writer says.

COO@Tier1 says a separate federal loan package to help automakers and suppliers gives the industry a special obligation.

“You may want to consider every taxpayer in the USA a customer as we all have a $25 billion stake in the success of these corporations,” he says.

Others worry where it will lead.

“If the government is going to outright purchase bad loans, what is to stop them from determining how we spend our dollars?” beproz asks.

Yet others have a very direct viewpoint, like these two jobless after the Bill Heard dealer chain closed abruptly.

“Who should former employees contact for employment consideration by new owners?” asks gmcarguy.

Another seven-year employee asks the same question about his Bill Heard store, says his ex-team were “like family” and “one of the best fixed-ops teams I have ever worked with.”

So tell us, how bad is it? Post a comment and tell us how you are handling the credit crunch in your part of the industry.




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