CARY, N.C. — Along with sharing the top 15 most-read online stories of 2008 and site growth statistics, the SubPrime Auto Finance News staff wishes all its readers a wonderful holiday season.

After today, SubPrime Update is going on hiatus until after the new year to allow its staff to celebrate the holidays. We will return Jan. 6 to again bring you the top breaking news in the automotive finance industry.

"I want to thank all our dedicated readers, tipsters and advertising partners for making 2008 our best year yet in terms of growth, advertising and news breaking," said Jennifer Reed, Cherokee Automotive Group Editor.

"We enjoy bringing you the latest breaking news on a regular basis and hope you will stay tuned in 2009 as we continue to grow our brand," she continued. "Warm wishes and happy holidays from our entire team! And as always, please feel free to contact me with feedback, comments and tips about what you see in our publication, site and industry by e-mailing me at"

Now, on to annual site statistics, the staff discovered that visits and page views for 2008 are up 89.43 percent and 85.29 percent, respectively, over 2007.

Moreover, our returning visitor ratio for the year has increased 35 percent over last year. Additionally, our unique visitors are up 59.59 percent over 2007.

"We saw real growth in visitor traffic on in 2008," explained Jon Parks, online media manager for S&A Cherokee, parent company of SubPrime Auto Finance News.

"While this year certainly provided its fair share of news and stories, we believe we have positioned as the ‘go to' source for news about the auto finance segment of the used-car industry and we expect this growth to continue into 2009," he added.

This year was filled with plenty of complexity as the credit markets tightened, forcing lenders and dealers to react to a changing marketplace.

With the U.S. officially in a recession, almost all auto professionals have felt the squeeze in some way or another, some more than others. And many experts are pointing to spring of next year as the time when the industry will begin to bounce back. Are they being optimistic? Only time will tell.

While a variety of articles caught our readers' attention in 2008, here are our top 15 most-read stories of the year. Each article garnered several thousand page views:

1. HSBC Auto Finance Freezes Indirect Auto Lending

2. GMAC Places Tight Reins on Auto Loan Approvals

3. Former Drive Financial Execs Leverage Experience to Re-Enter Marketplace with New Subprime Lender

4. Economic Troubles Force AmeriCredit to Reevaluate

5. Wachovia Dealer Services, Wells Fargo Auto Finance Announce Details of Integration

6. Two Out of Three National Auto Lenders Cut Originations

7. AmeriCredit Cuts Originations Two-Thirds by Ceasing Certain Loan Products, More

8. AmeriCredit Reduces Originations Even Further

9. Wachovia Announces Goal to Reduce Long-Term Auto Loans, More

10. GMAC Confirms It's Going for Bank Status, Halts Auto Loans in Several Countries

11. Unstable Market Conditions Drive Triad Financial to Pull Out of Indirect Lending Market

12. J.D. Power Ranks Lenders by Dealer Satisfaction in Various Categories

13. Manheim Analyzes Auto Financing Industry's Health

14. AmeriCredit Faces Difficult Road in Current Marketplace

15. CitiFinancial Auto Announces Some Operational Shifts