The ever-tightening credit market is one of the leading causes of crumbling new car sales, but the lack of available credit is also affecting the nation’s dealerships. Many dealerships are struggling to obtain floorplanning funds – the money used to buy inventory – and it looks as though Suzuki dealers might have a particularly tough go of it in 2009.
At a dealer meeting earlier this year, Suzuki vowed to help its dealers lineup necessary floorplanning funds, but is unable to deliver on that promise due to the state of the automotive business.
“The economic crisis has deepened, credit has grown tighter than ever, and our own financial performance has deteriorated both within the U.S. and globally,” Kevin Saito, president of American Suzuki Motor Corp., said in a letter obtained by Automotive News.
Suzuki’s finance arm, American Suzuki Financial Services, does not provide Suzuki dealers with floorplanning financing. However, some Suzuki dealers are currently receiving floorplanning financing from GMAC and Ford Motor Credit.
If dealers are unable to find the financing they need in 2009, it could spell disaster for the Japanese automaker. Suzuki’s sales fell more than 46 percent last month.