Trouble for Car Dealerships - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Trouble for Car Dealerships

By Samantha Ptashkin

ROCKFORD - From banks refusing to lend to other banks, to frightened investors and consumers, the credit freeze spreads beyond Wall Street and one industry that feels its cold effects is car dealerships.

George Schaffner of Saturn of Rockford says the amount of customers coming in has dropped 25% over the past two weeks. He says it's all because the economic crisis has scared consumers, so they aren't taking advantage of all the deals out there.

These days for many consumers now is just not the time to buy a new car, even if they need one. "I'm having problems with it, but probably not in the market to get a new car," said Michael Sink.

But Schaffner says right now it's a buyers market. "Don't be afraid. The money is there. If it's the right time for you, the prices will never be better than today."

Just looking at soaring gas prices and credit applications though, makes the idea hard to sell to many consumers."If your credit is bruised it might be challenging, but the money is still there," Schaffner said. " The credit thing is really hard for me, so luckily my grandfather goes on as the co-signer, so it makes things a lot easier," said Millard Wilson, who is looking for a new car.

Schaffner says he has met with lenders in the area and they have the money to lend. But across the nation it doesn't look as good. A new Reuters study says as many as 3,800 U.S. car dealerships could close this fall.

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