What's a GM dealer to do after receiving 'the letter'?

With GM’s bankruptcy now appearing inevitable, I’m an auto dealer who “received the letter” who must now wonder if waiting until October 2010 to end my GM business is the best option for me.

As I have referenced in earlier blogs, I’m also a Chrysler dealer who was included in that automakers’ termination list. I guess this is the downside to living in a small town.

Or could it be that our new vehicle sales have not been what the manufacturers feel they should be?

Nonetheless, as also stated many times before, as a dealer I feel my job is to provide affordable, quality transportation at the best price available, new or used. With this, it has become unfortunate that the bad press on GM and Chrysler caused the value of their vehicles to deteriorate.

Finding the values challenging, coupled with poor economic conditions, has made selling program vehicles that much easier. I’ve found my customers are seemingly happier and I’m actually showing a profit.

Whereas with new vehicles, the recent push in the past few years by the manufacturer is to advertise nationally our invoice cost, along with any dealer cash and rebates. So unless you can steal a trade, showing a profit is much more challenging.

This leads me to feel that if the market I represent with my GM franchise is not profitable for me, I should move forward with a self termination to reduce the ongoing franchise expenses and meet my market demands with program and pre-owned vehicles.

This would leave me with only one franchised store -- our first franchise location -- Ford.

Interestingly enough, Ford has built an ever increasingly perceived value in their products. Could we continue with our direction, increase overall profitability and meet the needs of our customers with only the Ford franchise? In today’s market, which will soon change for us all, I believe I can.

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