Bailout Watch 37: Dealer Or No Dealer

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
bailout watch 37 dealer or no dealer

Automotive News (sub) reports that the National Automobile Dealers Association will not be joining the Detroit Alliance to lobby congress for bailout loans. In stark contrast to the collective approach to bailout lobbying taken by the three Detroit automakers, NADA is leaving those efforts up to individual dealers. “We represent all dealers,” said David Regan, the association’s vice president of legislative affairs. “NADA members likely will have different opinions on whether government loans would be in their economic interest.” This is, in effect, the same reason for the Ford-Chrysler-GM collective approach to lobbying, rather than going through the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. In short, the bailout is only good for Detroit, so there’s no reason for the successful automakers to waste precious lobbying money on it. Needless to say, this all further undercuts Detroits head-in-the-sand assertion that this is not a bailout. GM admits that it has recruited its dealers to shoulder some of the lobbying burden, though Ford and Chrysler remain cagey on the subject. If the once-big three want to convince America that the entire auto industry is suffering, and that the loan program is not corporate welfare for their failed business models, they’re going to have to recruit more help from across the industry. The lack of industry interest is highly instructive.

Join the conversation
  • Monkeyboy Monkeyboy on Sep 10, 2008

    The reasoning is missing one salient point. Most domestic dealers also hold the keys to Import dealer franchises. So, on one hand, they're helping their domestic brands, but it will hurt their foreign brands. Each entity has models that don't cover the other. I.E. the foreign brands can't do trucks well. And the domestics haven't done small cars well. What to do, what to do...

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 10, 2008

    It won't hurt the imports unless the money gets used wisely. I put the chances at 1 in 100 of that happening.

  • Rix Rix on Sep 10, 2008

    Ironically, both Toyota and Honda have a few factories that qualify...Honda in Marysville, OH comes to mind. If I were Honda, I would ask for money and use it to start expanding Civic production.