View photos

(Bloomberg) — The auto industry — already fretting lengthy factory shutdowns and depressed new-vehicle demand — is starting to sound the alarm about a potential used-car price collapse that could have far-reaching consequences for manufacturers, lenders and rental companies.

Used-vehicle auctions are for now virtually paralyzed, much like the rest of the economy. The grave concern market watchers have is that vehicles already are starting to pile up at places where buyers and sellers make and take bids on cars and trucks — and that this imbalance will last for months.

If that fear is realized and prices plummet, it will be detrimental to automakers and their in-house lending units, which likely will have to write down the value of lease contracts