Jackson: Credit issues hurting recovery

Mike Jackson, CEO of national car dealer chain AutoNation recently told the Detroit Free Press that he feels consumers’ bad credit is one of the things holding the auto industry back, and that it would take nearly four years for sales figures to return to pre-recession levels.

Jackson laid out his forecast of the auto industry hopes in an interview with the news source, saying that “I see the process as a three-stage rocket. The first stage is the healing of credit, which is beginning to happen, but will take at least through 2011. Second, housing prices need to stabilize. Finally, employment must recover.”

The CEO noted that customers with bad credit were still struggling to get car loans, which has been a factor in lagging sales. Dealers, meanwhile, shut down lending to all but the most credit-worthy of customers in the heights of the recession and have yet to return to pre-collapse subprime lending levels.

“We’re still a year away from normal credit conditions for auto loans,” he told the news source.

Despite Jackson’s thoughts, consumers with bad credit should know that they may actually be pre-approved for car loans, and should apply online in order to figure out what types of rates they may be offered.