The challenge that lays before us

With GM's bankruptcy announcement today, the message we all knew was inevitable is upon us. It is the day where the real challenge begins for the dealer body.

We've all struggled with ever decreasing market share numbers, increased cost and decreased margins. Even though GM most likely will emerge from this disaster and we all will become better people for it, this will be a challenge, to say the least.

What do you tell the customer who questions ever increasing costs from a company that is now bankrupt and will emerge owned primarily by the government?

One of the many concerns from the public I have already faced is that they are not sure they want to own a vehicle that is produced by a government-owned -- possibly even controlled -- company.

They’ve enjoyed, even relished, in the history of GM as an American original. And GM has some great product. Just look at the Chevrolet Corvette or the stylish Pontiac G8, or luxurious Buicks and professional grade GMCs. I'm proud to be a GM dealer.

This however has been tarnished by depressing market share percentages and my struggle to maintain the store's operations. Many of us who received the letter in May have to make the decision on whether to continue the battle or immediately relinquish the franchise we worked so hard to establish in our communities and move to new opportunities.

For me, the decision has to be made soon. As I struggle for profitability in our GM store, I can only hope that today's announcement doesn't taint the waters any more than they already are.

Will it push more customers away or create a new need to buy in an effort to support a company that has been so much a part of all of our heritage?

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