March 30, 2009

(Manchester, NH) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today met with New Hampshire auto dealers in Dover to discuss how the current credit crunch is affecting their businesses and what needs to be done to get credit moving again.  The meeting followed an announcement by the Obama Administration regarding a new proposal to stabilize the American auto industry and ensure long term prospects for success.


“The American auto industry is a pillar of our economy and a source of deep pride for our country – from manufacturers to dealers to parts suppliers,” said Shaheen.  “In New Hampshire, the auto industry employs thousands of workers, and we must to do everything we can to make sure this important industry not only survives, but thrives.”


Auto dealers in New Hampshire and across the country are faced with the challenge of refinancing their inventory in this tough economic climate when sufficient financing for small business is not readily available. 


“With floor financing being the lifeblood of dealership operations, the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association is greatly appreciative of Senator Shaheen’s determination to reach a solution. Today she heard directly from New Hampshire dealers and employees who face the loss the of their life savings,” said Peter McNamara, President of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association.


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides a deduction for state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase of new cars, light trucks, motor homes and motorcycles through 2009.  In a recent letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, Senator Shaheen encouraged the IRS to interpret this provision to cover the local registration fee New Hampshire residents pay.  This interpretation by the IRS would make it more affordable for New Hampshire residents to purchase a vehicle, helping to create and save jobs in the automobile industry throughout the state.


“We need to protect consumer confidence – there are people who want to and are able to buy cars, and we need to make sure they have the confidence and credit available to do it,” added Shaheen.  “I’m encouraged to see that the plan announced by President Obama today will guarantee new vehicle warranties to spur demand.”


The New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association (NHADA) represents 230 franchised dealers and 250 used car dealers that employ 13,000 people state-wide.  Over the last fourteen months, fourteen NHADA franchised dealerships in New Hampshire have closed, and with them 590 employees have lost their jobs. 

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Alex Reese