ColdFusionGuy noted a while back that he hoped that families would respond to the credit crisis by living within their means. Well, he and I are getting our wish, at least according to this; down payments on vehicles have gone up by a cool $1000 or so to a full 12% of the purchase price. So when people drive off the dealer's lot today, they're only slightly underwater vs. what the vehicle is worth. It's also worth noting that the purchase price now is about $25000 vs. $40,000 a few months ago, if the % financed and down payment statistics can be trusted.
Fun reference; the favored vehicle of actual millionaires (non-house net worth > $1 million) profiled in "The Millionaire Next Door" is the Ford Crown Victoria, a vehicle that could be had for less than $25,000. Maybe with consumers choosing more vehicles of this nature, there's hope for our country yet.
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