The irony of this massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico keeps growing.
I spoke to a dealer near Tampa, Fla., this week. He is worried.
He knows of people frantically canceling their Florida vacation plans because of the oil spill.
Fewer tourists mean less money spent at local hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Those businesses employ local folks who might buy a car -- provided they're earning a decent income.
And the locals who rely on the Gulf for their livelihoods are suffering financially, too. That could mean more potential car purchases put on hold.
This dealer's new-vehicle sales are nearly flat from a year ago. Yet dealers in other parts of the country tell me they're seeing significant year-over-year percentage gains in new- and used-vehicle sales.
What a disappointment for this Florida dealer who was so optimistic prior to April 20 -- the day of the explosion in the Gulf -- that 2010 would be his rebound year.
Oil, the commodity that fuels the auto industry, might also be what causes devastation to parts of it.