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Teresa Todd: Auto dealers hoping things will get better

Posted: January 8, 2009 10:52 p.m.
Updated: January 9, 2009 4:30 a.m.
 
As most business owners are acutely aware, 2008 witnessed unprecedented freefall dips in the global economy.

This bottom-drop phenomenon impacted financial markets, manufacturing, housing and retail sectors. Almost every industry was adversely affected by the tumult that occurred. Especially hard hit was the auto industry, with no manufacturer emerging unscathed.

Everything from the historic highs of oil prices to the all-time lows of consumer confidence, spending and credit availability, contributed to what can only be described as a devastating year.

Will things improve in 2009? While everyone hopes for the best case scenario to occur, the reality is that without a surge in sales and consumer spending, which can only come with an economic recovery, it will be difficult to turn things around.

Talks concerning a government bailout plan for U.S. car manufacturers have filled newspapers and broadcast news programs over the past several months. This is indeed a lifeline for our Detroit-based manufacturers but, ultimately, it will be sales that will determine the viability of every car company, both foreign and domestic.

Although government intervention has only been extended to the three U.S. car manufacturers, it's important to keep in mind that other manufacturers have U.S.-based operations, dealerships and factories that employ American workforces. A decline affects not only workers but all the auxiliary products and services that support their families.

With consumers and many companies tightening their belts, it becomes all the more important to transact business locally to keep tax dollars flowing back into the community. Whether it's through new car sales, vehicle part purchases, or any other taxable commodity, one-percent of every taxable sale is returned to the governmental jurisdiction where the sale was made. That means dollars spent in Santa Clarita stay in Santa Clarita.

Sales tax revenue is the primary source of funding for projects, programs, and services within the community.

This revenue also provides funding for road maintenance within city limits, as well as increased sheriff's patrols.

Businesses should consider the residual impact of local purchases whenever possible. If not in the market for new or used vehicles at this time, the Santa Clarita Valley Auto Dealers Association, a non-profit organization representing 12 dealerships and 17 brands in the Valencia Auto Center, recommends companies consider the vehicle service and maintenance needs of aging fleets and employee-owned vehicles used in business.

Auto Association dealerships have factory-trained service technicians who specialize in every make and model car or truck. Service costs are competitive and dealers offer special services, including convenient hours, rental car arrangements, and drop-off and pick-up accommodations. Dealerships also offer full-service parts departments.

For a listing of Santa Clarita Valley Auto Dealers Association members and their locations, visit www.ValenciaAutoCenter.com.

Teresa Todd is a Santa Clarita resident and president of Point of View Communications, LLC, a Santa Clarita-based marketing, communications and public relations agency.

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