The changing car buying experience

I don't know many people who truly enjoy the process of buying a car. Sure, I get a kick out of getting a few extra perks when negotiating for a car. But most times, consumers walk out of the dealership feeling like they got ripped off. Hold onto your hats, though, because the whole process of buying a car may be changing.

Car dealerships are closing in record numbers. The Wall Street Journal reports that sales of new cars are at a 25-year low, and experts say that 700 new car dealerships could close this year in the United States.

While this might not seem like a big deal since there are so many car dealerships around, consider the fact that 430 already closed last year, and this year's closures will mean the loss of over 37,000 jobs. It may seem like there have been too many dealerships, but they were around because consumers wanted them, and they employ lots of people.

Car makers have no choice but to tighten the reins on their dealers. It costs a lot of money to have a new car sitting on a lot, and auto makers and dealers share those costs. Auto makers typically offer lines of credit to the dealers, but the drying up of the credit market has impacted this.