For dealerships it's almost like a good news/bad news joke.
The good news is that U.S. households are in better shape economically as auto loan delinquencies continue to decline and savings to grow. But the bad news is that consumers aren't taking on as much debt, including car loans.
“It's clear that consumer balance sheets are improving,” said James Chessen, chief economist for the American Bankers Association, in an interview last week. He said consumers are both more willing and more able to keep up with their monthly auto loan payments.