Car Sales Blooming In Spring

Christina Stallworth just bought a new car.

"I love this car. It's great...I got a very good deal," she says.

These are good times to be in the automobile business. Daimler Chrysler, General Motors and Ford are all enjoying record
profits, reports CBS News Correspondent Drew Levinson.

But that bounty may mean less leverage when buyers try to negotiate their deals.

"Obviously, when business is good, when dealers are taking a look at a little less inventory than they have been used to, they don't want to give away the car," says auto analyst Keith Crain.

It also means in the case of the most popular models, the sticker price may be what customers actually have to pay.

There is hope, however. The owner of a suburban Detroit Jeep-Eagle dealership thinks savvy shoppers can still use the system to cut a better deal.

Even though sales are through the roof, the pressure on prices remains intense, and carmakers are still offering rebates on many models.

"It's a win-win-win situation," says car dealer Mark Snethkamp. "The factories are kicking out a lot of cars. We're selling a lot, and consumers are still getting a great deal."

There is one potential trouble spot on the horizon for carmakers and their customers. This summer, all three are set for national contract talks with their unions. If there's a strike, the supply could dry up, and that's bad news for the consumer.

Reported By Drew Levinson