Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dealer Dilemma

I'm always interested in what local car dealers have to say about the economy.  When I worked as a local TV station General Manager the auto dealers were the lifeblood of our advertising business.   We tracked car sales monthly to identify target prospects for new advertising campaigns.  We also wanted to be the first to know how our existing clients were pacing compared to previous months.  In a good year, national auto sales would top 15-million.  Six years in the past decade, the figure topped 16-million.  That's when credit was flush, manufacturers were cranking out cars and incentives were driving traffic to the stores.  It all came crashing down last year when automotive news reported 3 million fewer cars were sold in 2008 compared to the year prior, triggering a panic among the big three and a $17 billion government bailout.  And this year?  The national car dealers association is predicting 12.7 million in sales with another 900 dealers going out of business.  Brutal.  
I have invited a couple car dealers to appear this week on a public affairs program I produce, called  Dollars and Sense  We'll get their take on the national crisis and how it hits home in their local community.  Should be a decent program.  I'll keep you posted.


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