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Car industry takes a blow as consumer fears rise

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. - Cities just like South Bend are going into quarantine, limiting travel and spending. This is affecting tourism, business and car sales among other things.

The General Manager of Headers Auto Sales, Steve Huddleston said tax season is normally their busiest time of the year but that’s not the case anymore.

While some other car dealerships said they are seeing fewer people, he said they’re seeing a huge dip in sales.

“We’re at the point where we should be at a full-time tax season, selling a bunch of cars. Now I think people are hanging onto that money,” Huddleston said. “We’re probably down about 100 cars from where we should be at this point right now or maybe more.”

When he and his team first heard about the coronavirus, they thought it would just blow over.

Now they are struggling to sell cars even trying social media.

They posted a video showing customers that they are out here spreading deals and not the virus.

But Huddleston said sales aren’t the only issue they have.

“The biggest problem that we have right now is just our customers not being able to make their car payments,” he said. “We have about 500, 600 people out with cars on time and just the other day when they shut down those restaurants, we got call after call ‘i can’t make my car payment. I can’t make my car payment’ I’m sure every small business is feeling the same thing. It’s just shutting everything down.”

Huddleston said they are trying to help figure something out with those customers, but if this goes on long-term, they’ll need help from the government.

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