Local Auto Dealer: Consumer Confidence The Key, Not Bailout

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A long time car dealer here in Colorado Springs thinks the real answer to the American auto industry’s woes is at the local car dealership.

The deal is the key to putting Dennis Kershner behind the wheel of a new Ford

"I'm always a BBD: Bigger, better deal guy," Kershner said.

The thousands he’ll spend are coveted dollars going into the American auto industry.

"I didn't really think about it that way, but contributions, any to make our economy better, is great," he said.

Business is picking up at Phil Long Ford according to General Manager Mike Cimino, thanks in part to lower gas prices and recent incentive packages

"Some people are taking an opportunity to buy cars, you know how the old saying goes, buy low," he said.

In an open letter, Phil Long President and CEO Jay Cimino indicates consumer confidence as a cause and solution to the auto industry. He thinks the government could boost confidence by urging customers to buy American. He goes on to write the industry should make reliable cars and financing available.

Finally Cimino looks to the car buyer to recognize that boosting the U.S. auto industry could boost the economic backbone.

"It's kind of like after 9-11. The President, regardless of whether you like him or not said, go out an do the same things you did before, and they did," said Mike Cimino.

The challenge now is finding customers in markets where consumers, for now, are not willing or able to buy.

In the meantime, the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association reports new-car sales in Colorado are expected to drop between 20 percent and 25 percent this year.

Representatives estimate dealers have slashed staff by about 10 percent this year, with many of those cuts coming on Friday and Monday.

Some car dealers fear if the Automakers go under, they would take more jobs and even some dealerships with them.

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