WASHINGTON, D.C. — While a lot of attention has been focused on the restructuring of domestic auto manufacturing, the National Automobile Dealers Association is urging the Obama administration to focus on the severe impact of the credit crisis on dealers and the urgent need for floor plan credit.

To help draw attention to the situation, NADA said it is working with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, to have senators sign a letter asking President Barack Obama to expand availability for auto credit and provide specific policy recommendations.

"Call your senators and urge them to sign the ‘Shaheen Auto Credit' letter," urged David Regan, NADA vice president of legislative affairs.

"Tell your story so senators understand the problems with accessing retail credit and credit to purchase inventory from automakers," Regan continued. "Explain the impact on jobs and the community. Explain how dire the situation is and that unless action is taken soon, many more dealers will have to close their doors."

John McEleney, NADA chairman, added, "Without retail credit and floor-plan loans, even well-capitalized dealers can be out of business in a matter of days. In particular, preserving floor plan lending is essential to keeping dealers in business and purchasing new vehicles. The auto industry cannot recover until the retail credit and floor plan problem is fixed."

New Mexico dealer Bob Cockerham testified March 19 before the Senate committee on how credit problems are crippling dealers throughout the country. He represented more than 400 dealers.

"We don't have months, we have days before more stores close," noted Cockerham.

Senators can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. The deadline for senators to sign the letter is 12 p.m. EST, Friday, April 3.

Senators and their contact information can also be found at www.senate.gov. For questions, contact NADA's Legislative Office at (800) 563-1556 or legislative@nada.org.