Dealership survives GM cut

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 18, 2009

With General Motors looking to cut dealerships all over thecountry, officials say Brookhaven’s local GM dealership issafe.

GM informed approximately 1,100 dealerships on Friday that theywould be losing their franchise agreements. They plan to trim 2,600of its 6,200 dealerships under a restructuring agreement with thegovernment, and the next round of cuts is expected in June.

Stan King Sales Manager Brannon Craig said the changes have beenin talks for a while, as GM has been trying to realign for quitesome time.

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“It’s just what we did here back last June when we merged withNations,” he said, adding that GM officials are interested inhaving their dealers market multiple products to strengthenconsumers’ shopping choices.

Stan King carries new and used Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick andGMC vehicles. He said that is part of why their dealership willweather this storm.

“They’re going around trying to strengthen their points byputting those all under one roof,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said, the cuts should primarily affect largercities.

“If you take metro Atlanta or Chicago or Dallas, and just lookwithin a square mile of how many GM factory stores there are, it’smind-blowing. They’re looking to consolidate some of that,” Craigsaid. “But we’re fine. Just business as usual.”

The cuts will also be compounded by the sales of manydealerships, Craig said. The Saturn and Hummer brands are bothbeing sold, thus those stores may not be closed, but simply willnot be affiliated with the GM name brand anymore.

Meanwhile, Craig said cutting Pontiac has not had a major impacton Stan King’s traffic.

“Pontiac been an iconic brand for many, many, many years, butit’s always been a tough road for dealers that were just Pontiac,”he said. “We haven’t seen the drop off, but we also haven’t seen itto be a superstar brand for us… the models that they built youcan find ones similar to those within Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillacand GMC.”