Local Car Dealers Talk About Auto Bailout

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - People and businesses alike are feeling the impact of the recession, and with the auto bailout still pending Congressional approval, some are wondering how local car dealers will fair if the bailout does not go through. We spoke with local Ford and Chrysler General Managers about their take on the recession.

The big three automakers, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler may soon get the green light on an auto bailout deal that give them up to 15 billion dollars in government loans. But what happens if they aren't bailed out? that's a question some local auto dealers are not worried about.

"It's a type of situation that we are more than capable of staying put and riding out" says general manager of Al Meyer Ford Inc. Carl Crain.

But according to Crain, they have not been totally immune to the financial state of the economy. "We've made some minor adjustments as far as hours of operation in a couple of departments and we have had a small amount of staff reduction; however, it has not been anything significant and we do not foresee anything significant in the near future. We're very prepared to last several years".

Genreal Manager Tosha Allen of Southern Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, says everybody is being impacted by the economic recession, and only time will tell what will happen with their company. "Everybody's concerned, everybody is watching and waiting and people are losing jobs it's a tuff time for everyone so it's really hard to say what's gonna happen. I firmly believe we're gonna be fine" reassured Allen.

Crain also told KTRE that of the three auto makers requesting money, they are the most stable. "Ford Motor Company's financial position for at least the the next 12 months is where they can sustain a continued downturn in the market".

Allen said that, "it's really hard to say how it's gonna impact us, but I think the East Texas economy is really sound. The banks are still loaning money, we're still selling vehicles".

Carl Crain of Al Meyer Ford says that unlike the other two auto makers in need of money, Ford is requesting a "stand by" line of credit in the amount of 9 billion dollars, just in case they fail.