Fed. Gov’t shutdown’s effect on business in metro Washington

As has been widely noted, the partial federal government shut down that ended (or was at least put on hold for three weeks) has had a ripple effect. Those hit hardest might be the private sector contractors, who will not receive backpay now that the government has been re-opened. Those people may decide to put off an optional car purchase or repair for some time. The same is true for owners and employees of many local businesses in the Washington area, such as restaurants and even downtown parking garages, who suffered through five weeks of slower-than-normal business due to the shutdown.


When Automotive News picked up the story on metropolitan Washington, it naturally contacted WANADA for comment. Click here to see comments by WANADA Chairman John Bowis, WANADA CEO John O’Donnell, and other area dealers.


The effects of the shutdown also rippled out to the broader auto industry. At the Detroit Auto Show which opened last week, Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Jr. told the Detroit News that uncertainty in Washington is bad for business. For example, some new-vehicle launches might be delayed because all new models must pass EPA inspection before they are available for sale, and no one has been available at the EPA to certify them, Automotive News reported.


Only time and lagging economic indicators will tell what the full damage of this shutdown was, and how much of it can be made up in the future. But with the current funding bill only lasting until Feb. 15, there is a real chance the region will have to prepare for this fight to happen all over again very shortly.

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