05/15/09 — Local dealerships confident they will not be on GM's list

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Local dealerships confident they will not be on GM's list

By Staff Reports
Published in News on May 15, 2009 1:46 PM

General Motors dealers in the Wayne County area were anxiously awaiting word this morning on whether the auto giant would keep them or cut them loose.

GM had announced it would notify dealers today.

Chevrolet-Cadillac of Goldsboro manager Gregg Stevenson said he is confident his dealership will come through the cuts unscathed.

"I think we are perfectly OK," he said this morning.

Chevrolet-Cadillac of Goldsboro is preparing to build a new facility nearby to make room for future growth. Stevenson said his dealership has remained strong because of good decisions and treating the customers right.

"We'll do fine. I have no doubts about that. We'll continue to flourish," he said.

John Harris, manager of the Doug Henry Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealership on U.S. Highway 70 East, also was optimistic that his business' performance will keep it safe from being swept away in the wave of closings. But like the other area General Motors dealerships, he still had not heard anything by mid-morning today.

"We haven't heard a thing," Harris said. "I guess today is the day everybody's supposed to hear and get the envelopes."

Harris said he felt comfortable that the dealership will not be affected by the closings.

Doug Henry has a high customer satisfaction rating, Harris said.

"We're not anticipating anything. We meet all the criteria they seem to be looking for," he said.

The waiting is the worst part, said Dan Wise, owner of Dan Wise Chevrolet near LaGrange.

"The sad thing is that nobody knows anything," Wise said this morning. "It seems you have as good a communication as we do."

GM will not immediately close a dealership or stop selling it vehicles, Wise noted. The cuts would become effective at the end of the year.

"It is not like they (dealerships) would be closing tomorrow," he said, adding that, "It is a sad time for a lot of people."

Ward Boyette of Kenly Chevrolet could not be reached, but employees at the dealership said they had not yet heard from GM.

Janet Pipkin, marketing director, Deacon Jones, which has a GM dealership in Smithfield, said the company had not been notified as of mid-morning.

"To my knowledge we haven't received a letter yet," she said. "I think we're supposed to get that today."

Meanwhile, the operation did receive some good news.

"Yesterday, we received a letter about Chrysler-Dodge, that we would remain a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealership," she said. "Many got letters that they would not remain in business yesterday. Luckily we were one of the ones that remain open."