In a symbol of how grim things are in Detroit and at the local level, car dealers describe their showrooms as "ghost towns," and they say while it's hard enough to find a customer ready to sign on the dotted line, a done deal is even harder to hammer out.
The credit squeeze is leading to more loan denials, and the speculation that whether or not you get the loan has a lot to do with which kind of car you're trying to drive off.
In some cases, even those who get the car home for a month aren't out of the woods.
According to the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, contracts make it clear that consumers could be forced to return a car if a loan can't be secured, even if they've already taken the car home.
It's making many dealers rethink their old ways, and they're not less likely to hand over the keys to a car until after the loan is secure.