We all meet at the corner of Wall and Main Streets

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 tightening. Even if it is still available for our own particular part of the business, it may be gone for some of our rivals, our customers, or our suppliers.

We all know colleagues 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.

This aura of impending doom 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 is 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 creates a special obligation for the entire industry.

“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 personal viewpoint, like these two left 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, adding 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? And how are you fixing it? Post a comment and tell us how to beat the credit crunch in your part of the industry.

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ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Over the last few months, Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

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