The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is urging the federal government to implement the $700 billion economic rescue plan as quickly as possible to ease the credit crisis. NADA Chairman Annette Sykora said, “If the country can break the credit freeze on Wall Street, then [dealers] can help revive the economy on Main Street. The credit crunch on Main Street is real. It’s increasingly difficult both for dealers and consumers, even with good credit. We've heard about dealers who couldn't get financing for buyers with credit scores in the upper-700s. That's just unprecedented.”
More than 94% of buyers rely on financing when purchasing a vehicle. Less than 70% of applicants are qualifying. Automakers have tried to eliminate weaker dealers and consolidate markets for several years and some profitable dealers sold or closed because real estate was high, but many other closings are now being driven by the lower real-estate prices. NADA represents about 20,000 new-car and -truck dealers, with nearly 43,000 separate franchises, domestic and import.