DOTHAN, Ala. (11/18/10)--Credit unions are helping consumers purchase automobiles in the Dothan, Ala., area, according to a local newspaper. Auto sales “are trending upward in Dothan” with taxable sales reaching more than $181 million for fiscal 2010--up roughly $11 million from 2009, said the dothaneagle.com (Nov. 16). One dealer particularly mentioned credit unions. “The economy is coming back,” Jamie Snell, general sales manager for Dothan Chrysler Dodge Kia, told the newspaper. “This year has definitely been way better than last year. The banks have loosened up and started lending, and local credit unions stepped up and have been doing their part for sure. All dealers are getting help from the credit unions. The banks crunched down big-time during the crisis.” During the past three years, car sales at his lot dropped 30% to 40% below normal levels, Snell told the paper. People were not understanding that everyone has to purchase items for the economy to thrive, Snell added. Purchases were spotty, but now are becoming more consistent, with some months in 2010 being as good as any in years past, he added. To read the article, use the link.