The head of the national car dealer's industry trade group warned Wednesday that if automakers start selling directly to consumers -- rather than through a middleman, like today's dealership system -- car makers will jack up prices and ignore customers.
The owner of a car dealership in Charleston, W. Va., sued the federal government over a mandate in the Affordable Health Care Act requiring employers offer the Plan B pill, only to realize his insurance policy already covered the emergency contraception. His lawyers just missed it.
Like him or loathe him, George W. Bush's clearest, most salient speech came almost a year ago on September 25, 2008 when our Harvard MBA president explained to the nation and the world exactly how bad the economy had gotten and why so much federal money ($700 billion-ish at the time) was being hurled at America's banks. The full speech can be found here, but one little section bears quoting:
Like those affected by the overinflated housing market, many auto dealers are experiencing a similar situation with their real estate. During the recent boom times, the thinking was that you needed a big, flashy facility with all sorts of extras and perks to attract customers. Manufacturers helped push the trend by offering extra incentives to dealers for interior and exterior upgrades, or flat-out demanding that some brand outlets conform to a particular standard.
The sun will set on an alarming number of new car dealerships this year, according to The National Automobile Dealers Association, better known as NADA. This has been an ongoing trend, but it's set to accelerate as slowing new car sales and the tough credit market makes it very difficult for dealerships to stay open. After losing about 430 dealerships last year, the total stood at around 20,700 left, of which 700 are expected to close up shop before the end of the year.
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