WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) expressed its dismay and disappointment as the Senate did not secure the votes necessary to pass financial assistance to the automotive industry. MEMA had urged the Senate to support the legislation in hopes of preventing a major vehicle manufacturer bankruptcy and the feared chain reaction throughout the supplier industry.

"Valuable domestic manufacturing jobs throughout the United States are at immediate risk and it is too easy now to envision the further damage that our economy will suffer," says Bob McKenna, MEMA's president and CEO.

McKenna repeated what was stated in a letter sent Thursday to all Senators: the supply base is the common denominator among all vehicle manufacturers and that domestic car manufacturers share 58-65 percent of their suppliers with Asian manufacturers and 37-46 percent with European manufacturers in North America. "There is simply no way that a vehicle manufacturer bankruptcy will not cause further bankruptcies and extraordinary hardship within the supplier industry."

McKenna acknowledged the difficult issues facing Senate negotiators and urged the Administration to now allow funds from the TARP to be used as a bridge loan to the auto companies. "This industry is too important to the economic health and well being of the nation to be left to fail," McKenna says. "The fate of domestic manufacturing and hundreds of thousands of jobs are hanging in the balance waiting for action."

According to recent studies, motor vehicle suppliers are the nation’s largest manufacturing sector and the largest employer in seven states. Suppliers provide 70% of the content of U.S.-built cars and trucks. Suppliers manufacture the parts and technology used in the production of more than 11 million new cars and trucks produced each year, and the aftermarket products necessary to repair and maintain more than 247 million vehicles on the road today.