Where Did The Cars Go? Manufacturers Are Confiscating Cars From Dealerships

Here’s a weird symptom of the disease that’s killing the auto industry — empty car dealerships, some of which are still open for business.

KOMO 1000 has a story about two Nissan dealerships and a Subaru dealer where hundreds of new cars and trucks have been seized by the manufacturer — placed on semi trucks and spirited away to parts unknown.

At Auburn Nissan, a sales agent says the shop is still in business. But you’ll have a tough time finding anything to buy. The inventory at Eastside Subaru in Kirkland has also vanished.

The problem is apparently crumbling financing in this free-fall economy, and the dealerships squabbling with the auto companies about how things should be done.

Since Nissan, Subaru and most other auto manufacturer own all the cars that are for sale at dealerships, they can yank them off a dealer’s lot when they want to. If new financing gets worked out, the cars come back.

And then there’s this story from Marshall, Texas about a GM dealership… with an accompanying ad for the dealership…

Representatives from General Motors Corp. and General Motors Acceptance Corp. loaded the vehicles onto 18-wheelers and drove them off the lot at 1400 East End Blvd. S. Monday after back-and-forth decisions by local district judges.
Cindy Morton, a former All American employee who happened to be at the dealership Monday on unrelated business, described the scene that day as “a madhouse.”

She said GMC and GMAC representatives were “running around the lot taking pictures of and filming vehicles” as they were being loaded aboard the transport vehicles. Ms. Morton said about 40 people lost their jobs as a result of the action.

Local dealership emptied [Marshall News-Messenger]
Where have all the cars gone? [KOMO 1000]