Auto Industry Feels the Pain of Tight Credit

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The auto industry is getting sideswiped by the housing crisis.

Auto lenders and banks, closing their wallets, have prevented hundreds of thousands of consumers from obtaining the financing for a car. Home equity loans, which had been used in at least one of every nine deals, when lenders were more generous, are no longer a source of easy money for many prospective buyers. And used-car prices have fallen nearly 6 percent as repossessed cars and gas-guzzling trucks and S.U.V.’s flood auction lots.

Those forces, on top of the softening economy, are putting enormous pressure on the American auto industry as it faces what may be its worst year in more than a decade. About 15 million vehicles are expected to be sold in 2008, down from 16.2 million last year, as sales reach the lowest levels since 1995, according to the marketing firm J. D. Power & Associates.

The impact on the broader American economy could be profound.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomy

Posted May 27, 2008 at 9:24 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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