It’s not just car makers affected by the rising cost of gas — fuel hits near $146/barrel for the first time – but also auto parts makers, car dealerships and car rental companies. However, with an U.S. auto industry recovery predicted to be beyond 2009, there’s no short-term relief.
In fact, share prices of three top car rental companies have been on a long-term decline, causing them to revise earnings projections. Auto parts makers have been hit even harder, with companies cutting jobs in the U.S. and Canada. Car dealers are also feeling the results of high gas: a consumer shift to smaller cars. Chrysler has been offering cash rebates for SUVs such as the Dodge Durango (pictured above) and three others. Other U.S. auto makers are offering extended employee pricing, zero percent finance rates or other incentives.