Tighter lending hurt new car sales - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tighter lending hurt new car sales

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

October 1, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Tighter credit is making a bad year for the auto industry worse. Car sales are down 11 percent this year because of high gas prices and the struggling economy. Now stricter lending practices brought on by the credit crisis likely will hurt vehicle sales even more.

Last year 83 percent of applications for auto loans were approved. This year, the rate is 63 percent. Edward Motors in Albany says they're lucky they haven't felt the crunch because of their lending history.

"Well there has definitely been nationwide a crunch in who banks approve and who they don't approve. But as far as our dealership goes, we have a relationship with banks that goes back for years and years. And we have not seen it to where our customers are not being approved," said General Manager, Lee Davis.

Nationwide nearly 600 dealerships that sell new cars have closed this year because of the lack of available credit.

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