05/17/09 — Local GM dealers escape cuts

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Local GM dealers escape cuts

By From staff reports
Published in News on May 17, 2009 2:00 AM

GM announced last week that it would send notices Friday to 1,100 dealerships across the country, telling them that their contracts would not be renewed at the end of the year.

The news came on the heels of Chrysler's cutting 800 dealerships.

GM officials said that unaffected dealerships would receive no word and representatives of Chevrolet-Cadillac of Goldsboro, Doug Henry Buick-Pontiac-GMC, Dan Wise Chevrolet of LaGrange, Kenly Chevrolet and Deacon Jones' General Motors dealership in Smithfield said Friday afternoon they had received no word.

Wise said he had been "walking on eggshells," all day Friday.

"It makes me feel good that I have so many friends who have called me," he said.

Spokesmen for CCOG and Doug Henry had expressed confidence earlier in the day on Friday that they would be unaffected by GM's decision.

Other dealerships in North Carolina were not so lucky. General Motors did not release the names of the dealers that are affected, like Chrysler did earlier in the week when it cut 800 from its roster. But GM dealerships in

FedEx letters bearing the bad news began arriving Friday morning. The letter stated that dealers had been judged on sales, customer service scores, location, condition of facilities and other criteria.

While the targeted dealers represent about 20 percent of GM's total, they make only 7 percent of its sales, the company said.

The cuts will allow the surviving dealers to expand the size of their markets, so they have a better chance of staying healthy, said Mark LaNeve, GM's North American vice president of sales and marketing.

"Over time, they just can't afford to invest in their business to the degree the competition has," LaNeve said.

"No longer will people be able to shop between three or four dealers within 15 minutes of each other for the best cutthroat price," said Aaron Bragman, an automotive industry analyst with the consulting firm IHS Global Insight.