Press Release

Auto Dealers Put Local Face on Need for Automaker Loans

 

Dealers travel to Washington, D.C., to Urge Support for Bridge Loans and Legislation to Jumpstart Auto Sales

WASHINGTON (Dec. 9, 2008) — New car and truck dealers from across the country traveled to Washington today to meet with members of Congress to urge support for financial assistance for struggling automakers. The auto industry, including dealers, has been facing difficult times because of a significant slump in sales caused by the economic downturn and the credit crunch. Locally, this unprecedented crisis has already hurt small business owners that provide goods and services to dealerships as well as the many cities and towns that depend on auto sales for tax revenue.

“Inaction by Congress would devastate not only the manufacturers but dealers and the economies of 'Main Streets' across America. Bankruptcy is not an option,” said Annette Sykora, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) chairman. “We are urging members of Congress to consider how bankruptcy directly threatens their local dealers. Forced dealer closings will put more people out of work, increase foreclosures, shutter storefronts, idle real estate and threaten other local businesses.”

Despite deep discounts and consumers incentives, U.S. auto sales plunged to their lowest levels in 26 years. In 2008, auto sales fell by more than 3 million units from 2007 when auto sales accounted for more than $690 billion in U.S. retail sales, or about 20 percent of all retail sales.

To help stimulate the economy, dealers also called on Congress to pass legislation, S. 3684 and H.R. 7273, providing tax incentives to boost auto sales. A spike in sales would immediately help stabilize the industry.

“Allowing consumers to deduct the interest on their car loans, as well as state sales taxes, from their personal income taxes would help bring consumers back to the showrooms and get the economy back on track,” Sykora added.

In addition, NADA asked Congress to push the Small Business Administration (SBA) to expand a loan-guarantee program so more dealers can gain access to working capital they need to keep their small businesses open and their workforces employed. Nationally dealers employ 1.1 million people.

NADA, founded in 1917 and based in McLean, Va., represents about 20,000 franchised new car and truck dealers holding nearly 43,000 separate franchises, both domestic and import.

Editor’s Note: The hometowns of auto dealers and dealer representatives participating in NADA’s fly-in to Washington are listed below:

Anchorage, AK
Montgomery, AL
Concord, CA
Costa Mesa, CA
Long Beach, CA
Pasadena, CA
Sacramento, CA
San Jose, CA
Seaside, CA
Denver, CO
Denver, CO
Glenwood, CO
Thornton, CO
Wheat Ridge, CO
Bristol, CT
Hartford, CT
Lyme, CT
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Miami, FL
Saint Cloud, FL
Tavares, FL
Athens, GA
Atlanta, GA
Hawkinsville, GA
Morrow, GA
Iowa City, IA
Jessup, IA
West Des Moines, IA
Boise, ID
Coeur D'Alene, ID
Sandpoint, ID
Chicago, IL
Joliet, IL
Ottawa, IL
Springfield, IL
Indianapolis, IN
Noblesville, IN
Fort Scott, KS
Kansas City, KS
    Lawrence, KS
Topeka, KS
Florence, KY
Frankfort, KY
Versailles, KY
Baton Rouge, LA
Boston, MA
Annapolis, MD
Annapolis, MD
Bel Air, MD
Bethesda, MD
Bloomfield Hills, MI
Davison, MI
East Lansing, MI
Woodhaven, MI
Mankato, MN
Rochester, MN
W Saint Paul, MN
Billings, MT
Helena, MT
Whitefish, MT
Asheboro, NC
Atlantic Beach, NC
Burlington, NC
Charlotte, NC
Greensboro, NC
Raleigh, NC
Bottineau, ND
Kearney, NE
Lincoln, NE
Albany, NY
Auburn, NY
Kenmore, NY
New York, NY
Rochester, NY
Williamsville, NY
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Dublin, OH
Youngstown, OH
     Elk City, OK
Oklahoma City, OK
Medford, OR
Portland, OR
Greensburg, PA
Harrisburg, PA
Johnstown, PA
Norristown, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Newport, RI
Warwick, RI
Columbia, SC
Greer, SC
Alcoa, TN
Chattanooga, TN
Crossville, TN
Knoxville, TN
Memphis, TN
Nashville, TN
Tullahoma, TN
Austin, TX
Carrollton, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Grapevine, TX
Houston, TX
Kingwood, TX
Pasadena, TX
Slaton, TX
Murray, UT
Saint George, UT
Salt Lake City, UT
Sandy, UT
Manassas, VA
Montpelier, VT
Madison, WI
Manitowoc, WI
Milwaukee, WI
Chapmanville, WV
Charleston, WV

Contacts:

David Hyatt
Vice President,
NADA Public Affairs   
(703) 821-7120
dhyatt@nada.org

Bailey Wood
NADA Legislative Affairs
(202) 547-5500
(202) 557-1674 (mobile)
bwood@nada.org