Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More Sprawl-Busting...

...from the credit crisis:
After enduring a brutal sales slump caused by high gas prices and a faltering economy, the last thing the American auto industry needed was a credit crisis.

Larry Kelly, general manager at the Ritchey dealership in Daytona Beach, Fla., said car buyers — even those with good credit — were paying higher rates for loans. But with banks tightening up their lending, any hope for a recovery in vehicle sales this year has been dashed.

The virtual lockdown on credit is hurting Detroit’s Big Three and other automakers at every level. More consumers cannot get auto loans. Dealers are hard-pressed to secure financing for new inventories. The auto companies themselves are running short of cash and can hardly afford to borrow more at interest rates as high as 20 percent.