Consumers who still want to buy cars and trucks from bankrupt Chrysler LLC are finding new constraints on their financing options.
Many auto lenders are demanding larger down payments on Chrysler vehicles, dealers say. Among them: Wachovia Dealer Services, Chase Auto Finance, BB&T and Fifth Third Bank.
The banks declined to comment. Industry officials say the new policies could repel potential buyers, especially those who owe large sums on their trade-ins.
"Lenders are pulling back," says Lee Mitchell, finance vice president of the retailer Group 1 Automotive Inc., of Houston. "That's going to equate to tougher sales." Lenders could loosen credit if Chrysler emerges from bankruptcy reorganization in the next few months, he predicts.