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Auto industry feeling economic crunch

READ MORE: Auto industry feeling economic crunch
The auto industry may be feeling the ongoing economic crisis the worst. Manufacturers from Ford to Toyota are seeing sales decline as banks tighten up on credit. It is becoming much harder to make that sale, since some customers being denied loans. Gary Paolantonio has been selling cars for 45 years. He said first it was gas prices, now it is the credit crunch delivering a one-two punch to the buying market. “It is getting harder for people, so to speak, who are on the fringe with their credit bought. They may need to get a little extra down payment or maybe a co-signer. It's just a little tougher," said Paolantonio. For months, Paolantonio has seen a reduction in buyer traffic on the lot. This is also a nationwide trend. According to sales tracker Autodata, September saw the worst decline in sales since 1993. One reason, bank loans are harder to come by. Stevenson Honda General Manager, Pat Koballa, said they are working less with major banks and more with independent lenders, who offer more incentives like low financing rates and rebates. "We do work with some independent lenders in the community as well, so sometimes its better to take advantage of the cash incentive and use an independent lender versus going with one of the manufacturers," said Koballa. Koballa mentioned that there are still plenty of buying opportunities for vehicles. It is now up to the market to turn around for the better. "Oce we can stabilize things with our economy and get some consistency with gas prices and get this economic bill behind us, I feel like consumer confidence will increase,” added Kobalah. Paolantonio said, "It will turn around, even though slowly, it will." Koballa said independent lenders have more leeway when it comes to offering credit to buyers. He just hopes the market will bounce back before it gets any worse.

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The poor automakers and dealers

Imagine Gas guzzling autos and suvs. Poor quality products, and totally overpriced service. Remember how they stack the deck against you when you buy so you pay more with dealer prep yada yada. MSRP Manufacturer suggested retail price, a totally made up number they use to try and gouge you. It's funny, when people can't pay they get bad credit. When the auto dealers can't pay, they want a bailout. Next it will be the credit card companies and any other large business group that see's the public as an ATM. At least McDonalds admits it has a hamburglar.


WAIT a minute....the car industry was doing HORRIBLE BEFORE this whole financial mess. US car manufacturers have been doing VERY bad...partly in my opinion because of POOR craftsmanship and prices. THAT coupled with GAS PRICES has torn them a new one! NOBODY...NOBODY with half a brain would buy a new car right now. NOT because of credit or the financial market...because it would be an even WORSE investment than a new car is to begin with! Within FIVE to EIGHT years, same time period as a car loan, how cars run and fuel are going to change why would ANYBODY buy a car KNOWING the technology is going to change. This thing is mainly a result of that...people KNOWING they are in between technologies and unwilling to invest in a dying model....

When does all this magic start?

I wouldn't recommend holding my breath for any great new technology to come rolling down the pike and displace gasoline in the next ten years. You will see greater availability of biodiesel. You will see improved hybrids and AC rechargeable cars for people who never leave town or don't mind stopping every night while travelling. You will see more cars fueled by propane or natural gas. But everything you see will be simply an improvement on existing technology, as we are many, many years from any major breakthroughs in finding a replacement for gasoline and the good ol' internal combustion engine. Ten years from now, you'll still be able to pull into an Exxon station and pump gasoline into your tank.