Friday, December 11, 2009

Government logic

The US House of Representatives has passed two bills that affect auto dealers, reports Automotive News today.

The Dealer Arbitration Bill is described as giving the 2,150 auto dealers whose franchises were canceled by GM and Chrysler more favorable terms in the arbitration of their disputes with the automakers. So the government decides to interfere in this business dispute not by establishing a mechanism for impartial resolution, not in support of its own to companies involved in it (GM and Chrysler), but by tilting the field against them and in favor of the dealers.

The second bill is the 1,279-page financial regulation legislation, which would create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Its intent is to protect consumers from making bad financial decision by regulating the sources of financing, such as mortgages, credit cards, etc. Given that the second largest financial transaction for most Americans is the purchase of an automobile, and that dealers are the biggest targets of consumer complaints about financing, one could expect the new law to regulate dealer financing as well. Not so--the bill excludes dealers-assisted financing from this regulation.

If your politics lean to the left, you're likely to accept the first bill but be appalled at the omission in the second. If your politics lean right, you would likely disprove of both. If you're an auto dealer...

Also today Automotive News reports that all of Toyota's North American factories are running over time to keep up with demand. Hm... if you're an auto dealer you might just want to get a Toyota franchise.