Dealers Split On Plans To Close Stores

They are in the crosshairs of the auto task force and passionate about their feelings over GM and Chrysler plans to drop dealers.

What's interesting is that not all dealers are against the idea of trimming the dealer ranks, while others are fearing the end of business' that have been in their family for years.

Bud Schoenleben, a GM and Chrysler dealer in Ohio writes, "Sorry, I don't see the dealers as their (GM and Chrysler) problem. If they cut production and sales then the weaker dealers are going to take themselves out. What's the rush?"

Rob Carson, a dealer in western Illinois is equally concerned about the GM and Chrysler cuts. He says, "Cutting dealers in the fashion of GM is throwing the baby out with the bathwater---some very big cheerleaders for GM are going to be sidelined very unfairly here."

I've also heard from many longtime dealers who have had a GM or Chrysler dealership in the family for decades.

GM Dealership
GM Dealership

Tom Mauro is a fourth generation Chrysler dealer in New Jersey who told me, "My father and his brothers have given everything they own to Chrysler and in return have to wait for a letter in the mail telling them whether they can stay open. America’s leaders need to open their eyes and realize this will cripple the country more then they think."

Alvin Riley is a GM dealer in Hugoton, Kansas (Southwestern Kansas) who has been profitable 22 out of the last 25 years and fears he will be eliminated. He says, "My customers produce corn, wheat, natural gas, oil, beef, hogs, electricity for the U.S. and the world and they need service on their trucks to do that, and soon we will be gone and then what. Will the President send someone out to service all these customers?"

And yes, I have heard from some dealers who think that it is time for GM and Chrysler to think their ranks.

Rodney Cobb is a Chevy Dealer in western Ohio who told me, "I rarely compete against other brands. It's almost always a battle against another dealer selling the same thing I am. What happens? We each cut one another to the bone and end up with very little profit."

David Greiner is a Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealer in California who also told me GM has too many dealers and cutting the distribution network is the right move. He wrote, "I am very glad GM is finally doing the right thing and handling this issue. Even if I am a casualty, I respect that the right decision was made."

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The landscape of American business is on the verge of being radically altered and how it changes will have a huge impact on all of us.

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