Auto Show Attendees Fixated on the Economy

The New York Auto Show opens to the public today at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. WNYC's Ilya Marritz attended a preview for industry people and found no one has escaped the down economy.

REPORTER: Rene Abdallah is a good example of how the Detroit's problems affect our area. He's an underwriter for car leases, based in Stamford, Connecticut.

ABDALLAH: Let's say you go into a dealership and you're looking into leasing a car. We insure the leases.

REPORTER: Abdallah's company has a lot riding on the car business - just like many other financial services firms, and advertisers, and car dealers in and around New York. Right now, Abdallah sees two worrying trends:

ADBALLAH: We're seeing on the claims side the exposure growing, at a time when revenue on the new side going down, so really the economy is what keeps us up at night.

REPORTER: On the plus side, he says, some carmakers are offering great lease deals that would have been unimaginable when the economy was good. For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz.