Car Dealers are Fighting The Hammer as Chrysler and GM Send Out Pink Slips To Retailers

Posted by: David Kiley on May 13, 2009

pontiac dealership.jpg

For all the talk in the last six months about the billions being spent to cushion the U.S. auto companies and suppliers, very little has been said or done to consider the plight of the car dealers who are being told in this process that they will be run out of business with not too many people caring about soft landings.

On Thursday, GM is widely expected to send out termination notices to some 2,000 of its 6,000 dealers, letting them know that the company plans to stop distributing new cars to them in the near future. Chrysler, already in Chapter 11, is also expected to terminate more than 1,000 of its 3,100 dealer agreements. Some estimates put the job loss at around 200,000.

It’s no wonder that Congress has not had dealers on its radar as much as the car companies themselves. As bad as GM’s image is with many carbuyers, the image of car dealers with just about everyone falls below lawyers and even journalists when it comes to public esteem. Let’s face it. Most deserve the reputation. “How about the rust-proofing? The extended warranty? Of course we have to charge you the advertising fee.” Huh…you mean I have to pay for your newspaper ad that got me in here?

Dealers are already going out of business at a record clip in this recession. But it is going to get worse as Chrysler, for example, moves to trim over 1,000 dealers and General Motors, if it files for Chapter 11, is looking to trim more than that.

The problem is this: GM and Chrysler, as well as Ford, have dealer networks that were built for when the three companies had a combined market share of 90%. Today, it is about 45%-50%. Many urban and suburban markets have too many Ford and Chevy dealers. They wind up competing against each other on price, while there is typically only one Toyota or Honda dealer in the same market. It also makes the U.S. brand stores less profitable. Less profit means fewer and less frequent facility upgrades. That’s why some Chevy and Chrysler dealerships look older and shabbier than Toyota dealers in the same market area.

GM, Ford, and Chrysler have for years helped dealers buy out their rivals in the same market. But the process is slow. And for GM and Ford, the time is now for trimming costs, and that means the dealer network as well as headquarters head count, slow selling models, inefficient real estate, and under-performing brands.

Many dealers resist selling for a number of reasons. Many are second- and third-generation families that own the dealership. Even as sales of new cars plunge at these companies, these dealerships make most of their revenue and profit from selling used cars and in the service and parts department. Still, without a flow of new-car sales, most dealership targeted by GM and Ford will fold for lack of new customer traffic.

Usually, state franchise laws prevent a company from terminating a dealer except when the company can prove cause. But Chapter 11 allows GM and Chrysler to cut the dealers without much fear of the courts or cost. Back in 2000, GM embarked on a project to kill off the Oldsmobile network, and its cost the automaker by some estimates around $2 billion in payments to dealers. GM’s not going through that again…on the cost side, anyway.

On Thursday, Congress will get an earful from the auto dealers’ main lobby, as well as dealers themselves. More than 100 new-car dealers will meet face-to-face with members of the House and Senate to ask them to urge President Obama’s auto task force to slow down plans to rapidly reduce GM’s and Chrysler’s dealer networks.

“A rapid cut of dealers is a bad idea,” says John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, the trade group that organized the dealer fly-in. “This would have adverse effects on the auto industry and hurt an already struggling U.S. economy.

“It will result in another 200,000 Americans losing their jobs,” McEleney added. “State and local governments will lose millions of dollars in auto sales tax revenue that is essential for economic recovery.

“We’re not arguing against dealer consolidation,” McEleney says. “Our concern is with the accelerated time frame. Keep in mind that dealers are not a cost center for their manufacturers. Dealers are an automaker’s main source of revenue.”

NADA launched an ad campaign in the form of an open letter from McEleney to President Obama questioning why his auto task force is demanding drastic cuts in the number of U.S. dealers. Full-page print ads were published in The Washington Post, Politico, Automotive News, Roll Call, Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Sun Times.

For all the bad press car dealers get for their hardball tactics in the showroom, they are also the backbone of a lot of cities and towns when it comes to charity support, kids’ sports teams, etc. Chalk all that up to local marketing, but it is still significant.

My Little League baseball team was sponsored by Norris Chevrolet, which I heard just folded in Westfield, N.J. And I was a local and regional winner of Punt, Pass, and Kick, sponsored by local Ford dealers.

Up to now, dealers haven’t gotten much airtime in the debate over saving the U.S. auto industry, though several members of the black caucus expressed concern for minority-owned car dealers during the November and December bailout hearings. But that will change Thursday.

Why has Congress not shown much interest so far in the plight of dealers, despite the fact that many dealers are big political donors? Maybe too many of them paid for rust-proofing.

Reader Comments

Tom

May 13, 2009 5:56 PM

So the dealers are asking for a looooong, sloooooow, drawn out battle to consolidate dealerships rather than a quick and efficient elimination of dealerships under Chapter 11? These dealers are going to get put out of work soon enough - why prolong their misery and potentially handicap a company that possibly went into bankruptcy just to get rid of its bloated dealerships?

No one has any sympathy for car dealers. They are purely middle men. The auto companies make the product, and the consumer buys it. All the specifications and prices can be researched online including reading professional and individual reviews on cars. Do we really need to pay someone an arm and a leg to give people test drives? Eliminating middle men will make the auto industry MUCH more efficient.

billd

May 13, 2009 6:28 PM

Auto makers should use this opportunity to develop a new distribution model. Separate sales from service, e.g. just a few sales stores per city and many, conveniently located service facilities. That could cut the distribution costs and give a manufacturer a differential advantage. Fewer, larger sales stores could carry bigger inventories and profitably operate on slim margins.

James Perkins

May 13, 2009 6:37 PM

As an owner of Chrysler and Pontiac dealerships; the cuts are unfair to small towns, small dealerships, minorities and women. In the past I have ask Chrysler and Pontiac to be of help and continually get ignored. I have even suggested engineering changes which buyers have ask for. Again to no avial. I would like to have General Motors and Chrysler to please contact me
for further dialog; but whom am I too ask for only having previously owned 6 franchises. Just another minority owner being totally ignored: hmm I wonder if that is why the product isnt moving as projected no one listening to the sales persons, no one listening to a successful model of the bottom up, instead of the top down. Either way I am open to further methods of providing clear and procise information on a successful dealership ownership.

James Perkins

May 13, 2009 6:42 PM

Would someone please speak to Mr President O'Bama and get him to do a stimulus package for auto dealers. The automobile business is always from the bottom up when there are no sales in small dealerships the economy loses. Small Business remains the backbone and cement to a thriving and jubilent economy.

James Perkins

May 13, 2009 6:47 PM

Thank you Black Caucus for standing up for small business. Please make sure that minority business dealerships and suppliers have a niche after the carvings by the big automotive companies. Many of the Black owned dealerships are already being comprimised. Also the auto companies (Corporate) having taken stimulus monies mustcontinue to have minority suppliers.

Thank you Black Caucus

car fools

May 13, 2009 6:53 PM

close those suckers down, hopefully the sorry brands will go away soon too. GM/Chrysler cannot complete any longer with foriegn brands...accept it and move on. you fools get me...

Mike LaMoy

May 13, 2009 7:07 PM

I've dealt with a lot of car "dealers" between 1960 (very used '53 Ford sedan) and late 2008 (new Mercedes sedan), and most are so sleazy, corrupt, low-life, and generally irrelevant, that I don't know whether to laugh or cry! I've actually seen them lose the whole deal just because they didn't know when to quit lying ("No, no...quit lying! I'm ready to sign on the dotted line").

My favorite one was a BMW dealership located just off the 405 Freeway in the South Bay area of L.A. I already knew I wanted a new 1992 BMW 325i sedan, either bright red or dark red, and just used this dealer location to look over the inventory, since it was close to home.

Some kind of sales "manager" slithered out of his office, wearing a bright red blazer that looked like an Avis car rental outfit, and proceeded to browbeat me about nothing in particular for five minutes or so. He finally said "Well, I'm not going to f**k around with you; if you find a car you want, let me know". So, half an hour later, I bought a car at another dealer 10 miles away. Gives a whole new meaning to the term "customer service".

BL Hayes

May 13, 2009 8:52 PM

For years, auto dealers have lived as a protected class by state law. In general, they had special protection from the majors, special provisions from anti-trust, and special provisions for car sales. This is why, for example, the majors never could sell direct, as happened to so many other businesses.

Even as people got more access to information that used to be highly protected, like the Kelly Blue Book or maintenence documentation, many practices that would not be tolerated if they started today were allowed to continue. Things like pricing stickers are relatively recent innovations, and were fought over aggressively in the states. Only concerted effort and sunlight via Congressional testimony and agitation via organizations such as Consumer Reports allowed these innovations to happen.

So, as often happens when protected classes have a shakeout in their now-exposed markets, shift happens. While I do feel badly for those organizations that did not see these changes forthcoming, given the control over state legislators that dealers have had for decades, and the opportunity that they've had to learn since the IMVP reports, I really can't feel very sorry for the dealerships.

Just like I don't feel very sorry for the cigarette companies either. While it didn't look like it during the prosperous 50s for both industries, they were busy digging their own graves.

blhayes@gmail.com

Benjamin Savasky

May 13, 2009 9:10 PM

It would be interesting to see what would happen if all of the dealerships were saved but each dealership specialized in selling one type of car. For instance, if one GM dealership sold only malibus while another GM dealership sold only impalas. Salesman would have to know their product better while customers might have better confidence in the product. This would also augment the demographics between similar products which could also increase sales because customers often display a liking for foreign cars (and I am not talking about an SL600 amg).

Rob N

May 13, 2009 9:27 PM

Why are the dealers always exclusive to one manufacturer? You'd think if they had a number of makes, they could just switch to the other makes, like most other stores do. Doesn't make sense to me.

michael burris

May 13, 2009 9:47 PM

These dealers have been robbing people for years and years. I feel sorry for the employees, but the dealers themselves have tried every trick in the book to steal. They call it selling, but lets call it what it is. They use a lot of hocuspocus on older people and women. To hell with them. Every time I have bought a new car over the last 40 years, its the same old tricks.

Gao Shuna

May 13, 2009 10:31 PM

The automobile is the pillar and superior industry in the U.S.,so the government leader ,President Obama,should consider carefully about many factors when taking action to cushion the U.S auto industry due to the finacial crisis.Are the car dealers the cost center or the direct reason for the sharp decline in profit?Surely the answer is no.Car dealers are the auto companies' main source of revenue and have significent society power.So rapid cuts in the number of car dealers will cause more difficult issues, such as diminished sales tax revenue, more unemployment,etc.We can not deny that too many car dealers can cause intensive competition on price,so cutting the number of car dealers step by step may be can work well.Remember this, going too far is as bad as not going far enough.

JD Plus

May 13, 2009 11:24 PM

An interesting side point on this is that the one-use commercial real estate occupied by dealers will now be vacant along with the unemployment of the workers, the nearby diners, etc.

Often that acreage is dealer owned, and often it is leased from large commercial REITS. It will be empty, no sales tax income.

Knock off 20% income to states, and you have a real dilemma.

Just go back to the times of the oil crisis. Or go back to when Volcker raised interest rates and flooring was 21%. These people obviouisly don't read history, or don't remember the horror caused by empty lots.

Seems that these people don't understand that a car dealership is NOT the anchor around car sales neck. It's the UNIONS, has been, and still is.

I just WISH government would stay the heck out, and let the dealers survive who will, and the ones that won't, well at least they have an opportunity to try without interference.

Bob Smith

May 13, 2009 11:58 PM

Being a Ford Lincoln Mercury dealer for over 30 years would make you think that I would be use to ignorant comments like your last sarcastic line about rustproofing,Dave. But I'm not. Keep up the great journalism. I hope for your sake that your job is secure. Sounds like you could care less about mine and the 100's of my freinds.

Alan Starling

May 14, 2009 6:20 AM

Car dealers fail because of rustproofing is like blaming
The current business challenges in journalism on all
Of the fat and lazy reporters. Both of these sweeping
Generalizations are humorous, but unfair to many
Hard-working Americans. There is an excellent chance
That the result of reducing the number of dealerships
Will be that your rustproofing will be more expensive.

Seeer

May 14, 2009 7:55 AM

Many of the jobs won't disapear, they will just shift. The car repairs still have to be done, parts still have to be sold and used cars still have to be bought and sold. It will just become more efficient as the market changes. Less new car sales, more used car sales, more parts sold and more repairs made on aging cars that are more complex and more expensive. It will be a painful transition, none the less. It's becoming a more unstable, faster changing world whether we like it or not.

John Ramp

May 14, 2009 8:22 AM

I cannot believe you wrote the folowing: It's truly the mark of an uninformed idiot.
" How about the rustproofing"?? I guess you havent bought a car in 20 years.

Car Dealerships employ Americans in almost every community, and if you look at recent trends I believe 90+ % of Auto Buyers are Completely Satisfied with Their dealer.

dealer contribute to their communities in ways no other business does especially a company such as yours.

"Let's face it most dealaers deserve their reputations"???


It’s no wonder that Congress has not had dealers on its radar as much as the car companies themselves. As bad as GM’s image is with many carbuyers, the image of car dealers with just about everyone falls below lawyers and even journalists when it comes to public esteem. Let’s face it. Most deserve the reputation

Chris

May 14, 2009 8:59 AM

How you gonna stay open without sales? Cashflow don't grow on trees. The question I have is: Where has all the money gone? A dollar should buy more when it's scarce, but for some reason it's worth less today than yesterday... Sounds like a problem of values, not of dealership jobs.

Karl

May 14, 2009 9:51 AM

I was always told that the car business was "recession proof". What happened?

Jason D

May 14, 2009 10:10 AM

This may be an opportunity to change the whole antiquated franchise dealer system. For the consumer the buying experience is less than pleasurable. Hidden costs such as, documentation fees, advertising and charging more for registration is getting out of hand. No wonder the whole system is falling apart. Maybe the car companies after the shake out, take over the franchise system and have company owned stores.

lanmei0910

May 14, 2009 10:44 AM

In some of the management theories, cutting the weak parts in one business to some extent will rescue the potentially prosperous parts. The automobile industry is experiencing very severe test. Measures are ultimately to be taken, but whether they will work depends. Ford, Chrysler or GE, they need money, but they can not get enough money from the market share as the worldwide financial breakdowns, so they save money.

GloomBoom.com

May 14, 2009 12:11 PM

Do Chrysler and GM really have a chance in a market that is going to be dead for two years and with the hand of the government and the unions involved in every decision? GM has not made a profit since 2004 and if you can't make a profit during economic expansion in the largest car market in the world, I wouldn't bet on their current odds. Check out GloomBoom.com for more on this.

bryan

May 14, 2009 12:14 PM

Losing jobs yes but we shouldn't lose that much revenue since consumers still can buy cars at the next dealers if there really want to buy them in the first place.

Ray

May 14, 2009 4:09 PM

As an import representative, I wish the domestic automakers the best. But,shame on them for not keeping up with superior craftmanship from overseas. I say good riddens to those dealers who represent them. You guys had your fun, now step aside and watch the imports succeed where you guys failed.

JACK

May 14, 2009 6:52 PM

You must be an old fart! Manufactures dip cars now that do not require rustproofing. I don't know anyone that sells or buys rustproofing.
Customers lie to sleazy car salesmen also. So who's worse, sleazy customers or lawyers that sell cars?

Tom

May 14, 2009 9:23 PM

If you think about it, car dealerships are really not necessary - at least in the form they are in now. Before the internet, people HAD to rely on car salesman for their info - car specifications, MSRP, incentives, financing, etc. All of those things are itemized brillaintly on the web now. Thus, car salesman can no longer lie when selling a car. 2 of my friends just recently bought a car from a DIFFERENT city online!! The car was a thousand dollars cheaper and it was the same, new car! Worth driving a couple of hours to save a $1000 dollars, get more features, and get better financing. This is the future. Car salesmen are the newest dinosaurs. I am just happy that I will never have to face a sleazy car salesman tell me a blatant lie ever again!

wjtinatl

May 14, 2009 10:45 PM

I'm not a big fan of new car dealers... they do make the buying process harder than necessary. That said, arbitrarily eliminating franchised dealers who have made an investment in the brand and the facility is unfair, if not illegal. The argument about dealer facilites is stupid, at best. In Atlanta and the suburban markets, we have multiple dealers of every brand. The far suburban dealers have less grandiose facilites than the metro stores, but are more pleasant to deal with. Seems like the deck is being stacked against the single store dealer in favor of the stores that are a part of a mega dealer group (AutoNation/Team, Penske, etc). That's fine, until those mega dealers approach critical mass and begin dictating to the manufacturer product mix, pricing, etc. Eventually you end up with an unfair advantage due to monopoly that requires government intervention. Sound familiar? The independent dealer network has survived on it's own for almost a century. Allowing the manufacturer or US Government to arbitrarilary decide who stays and who goes is at odds with the US system of free enterprise.

Jon

May 15, 2009 8:26 AM

If I may enter a purely selfish observation. I have been a mechanic for almost 40 years, the last 10 in my on business. My first thought when I heard that 2 of the 3 Chrysler dealers in town may be closed down was how that will affect my business. I have almost exclusively used one of these dealers for 20 years to buy the parts for Chrysler products that are available only from the car dealer. They have always been reliable and fair, and have gone the "extra mile" to locate a part that they didn't have from a competitor and get it to me. I will now be forced to source any Chrysler/Jeep parts from a dealer with a parts depatment that has frequently let me down in the area of getting the right part, and also one of the only dealers that I know of that don't provide delivery service. Taking an $85/hr technician away from the car they are working on to drive 10 miles thru city traffic is not going to reduce the cost of that part to the consumer.
Also with regard to the previous comment about rust proofing & dinosaurs, you are absolutely right. "Now they call it an extended warranty".

wjtinatl

May 16, 2009 7:42 PM

The more I think of this, the more my head hurts. Condiser the following about the franchised dealer:
*The dealer owner makes an investment in real estate, facilities, signage, etc.
*The dealer has to buy the cars from the factory and pay for them each month while awaiting sale. Therefore the dealer is the customer of the factory
*The dealer invests in an inventory of parts and trains technicians to service/repair the product the factory makes
*The dealer is the employer of the sales persons, parts and service workers, administrative personnel, etc.
*The dealer invests in the community through team sponsorships, advertising, school support, etc.
*The factory awards dealer franchises based on demographics, financial resources and territory agreements. If manufacturers wanted less dealers, they wouldn't award franchises
*The dealer network costs the manufacturer very little. As stated dealers buy the cars from factories prior to selling them. If manufacturers sold direct, there would not be an "inventory" to choose from, cars would be built to suit. How many impulse buys would be eliminated if that hot red convertible wasn't ready to go on a beautiful spring day?
*If there is a reduced dealer network, how does that not result in longer waits for service at the "authorized" dealer. Fewer dealrs means less capacity for not only sales but also service and parts.

The dealer is an independent entrepreneur, supporting both factories and community. Are there some bad dealers, of course. Consider how much more leverage the remianing dealers willhave once 25-35% of the competition is eliminated.

mark

May 18, 2009 1:19 AM

I have worked in the automotive tool and die field for 20 years. Felt the ups and downs of the industry. Now seeing what is happening here in Michigan, and the rest of the states is a tragedy. I agree there must be changes made to the big 3, but closing all these dealerships and plants make no sense at all. Want to suceed...start making interesting, fuel efficient, affordable vehicles! I have always believed in supporting your local economy, even if it costs a little more. Some people think that all these dealerships and plants closing won't effect them....think again. All these doctors, dentists, lawyers, boutique shops, & speciality shops will feel the full effect in a year or two. Most of the people I work with average 50 - 75 thousand a year. We send our kids to camps for baseball, football, skiing. Take extended trips with our families, and spend money in the tourist towns. Let the wife go to day spa's, tanning salons, cloths stores. When I don't have the money to spend on frivilous things I will change my spending habits. And when that changes I will also reconsider wether I have to go see a doctor, dentist, or buy new audio/video equiptment. I guarantee you that this will have an impact on almost every persons job out there. For the people who are happy to say good-bye to the auto industry, I feel for you. You obviously don't get it. I take a tremendous amount of pride in the products I have made over the years for the big 3. And as far as I am concerned, you can not buy a better vehicle. I do not think we need a union anymore. They gave us time and a half for overtime. Standard 40 hr work week. Vacation time, sick time, maternity leave. These things are now protected by the Federal Govt. We need reasonable insurance premiums. Reasonable doctor and dentist bills. We need responsible spending. Managers that treat the hard working people with diginity and the show the irresponsible people the door. I think it is about time we start doing the right thing and stop going with the majority. God bless and good luck to all in the automotive industry

Martin (UAW)

May 19, 2009 2:53 PM

Mark, I commend you on your understanding of the importance of the auto industry in this country. As far as your thought on no longer needing a union, that is your American right to believe so.

The average lineman, such as myself, is supported by or supports a total of about 8 other jobs in this country (unionized or not). There are around 300,000 active UAW members in this country. That being said, do the math people. If the Det3 is allowed to fail and fade away, thats around 2.4 million jobs being risked, and thats only considering the numbers based on UAW members. Yes, some of these numbers make parts or provide a service for other companies , but consider who the main contracts are with. If the majority of your companies income is with one of the defunct Det3, your bussiness will fail.

Most of this problem stems from the housing and credit crash. I will stand behind the auto companies with one thing. We made the vehicles that people bought. The sales numbers prove that. Look at the Dodge Ram, Ford F150, and Chevy Silverado. Look at the Chevy Tahoe, Dodge Caravan, Jeep Cherokee, and Ford Explorer. Unfortunatly, the oil prices went through the roof and trickled down(or up?) to gas prices. Thats why (with Ford the moderate exception)the Det3 sales fell. When your company is losing market share , for whatever reasons, you will build what the people want; and not risk it on something that MAYBE will sell.

Dont get me wrong, the time has come for the Det3 to make smaller more fuel friendly cars. I work in a Chrysler plant that may take on one of Fiat's cars. However, one car will not save the company. The company is going to have a hard time making a small car in the US due to the fact that profit on those styles of cars are little or non-existant(unless they raise the prices). It will be an interesting balancing act. Fiat will have to step up and back up their promises of sharing their extensive global distribution and share tech with us. Far more than what Daimler did.

As for my opinions, this is Chrysler's last chance.

jerry rominger

May 28, 2009 11:21 AM

i think your right keep up the good job.

D.W. Scott

May 29, 2009 5:07 PM

For anyone that thinks this is so easy as to say "oh just let them close"or " its their own fault" or WHATEVER it is that makes you see this as no big deal - well to some of us on the insideFor anyone that thinks this is so easy as to say "oh just let them close"or " its their own fault" or WHATEVER it is that makes you see this as no big deal - well to some of us on the inside

D.W. Scott

May 29, 2009 5:18 PM

after reading the rest of the comments above lets see - obviously some people think we should suffer because you got a raw deal somewhere , wow- buy a box of cereal and see the raw deal the farmers are getting . Pay$1.69 for a bottle of water and see who is the smart shopper.Gee lets close down every industry , organization , or anything else that has ever taken advantage of people or made someone angry or whatever . PEOPLE PLEASE PLEASE stop and look at the big PICTURE - YOU could be next and for any reason including the fact that the nearly 300000 of us about to loose our jobs can't afford to buy the product YOUR company makes or sells any more . WAKE UP AMERICA !!!!!

jwbuster

June 11, 2009 8:43 AM

No one is mentioning that the excessive dealer count is due to declining market shares for these two mfgs, and state laws prohibit in most cases the elimination of most poor performing dealers without excessive litigation; the truth is, the mfgs would have liked to terminate many of these dealers before the bkruptcy but couldn't; just because a dealer is "profitable" doesn't mean they are "good" dealers for the factories; some are "nused car dealers" who sell a high volume of used vehicles with the franchise sign up for credibility to the consumer; they don't sell adequate volumes of new vehicles and therefor are "underperforming" for the mfg; Some have adequate new vehicle volumes but generate high customer complaints due to their aggressive sales practices; so in effect the bankruptcy has provided a perfect window for the companies to do what they have wanted to do all along for various reasons; the major argument that is not mentioned by the companies is economy of scale for the remaining dealers is dramatically improved; it takes a lot of money to market vehicles in major markets, and the cost of buying a tv ad or newspaper ad on a per vehicle sold basis comes down dramatically if the individual dealers volume increases substantially due to the elimination of other same make dealers in that market; so there are some of the things not being said by anybody; somebody ought to give Senator Hutchison of Texas a lesson in factory/dealer economics and relationships; or maybe they have and she is just grandstanding for her constituents;

anonymous

June 16, 2009 3:27 AM

Obama put a novice polisci major with NO business experience in charge of the bankruptcy. I'm going to say this, I'm one taxapyer that is hoping for an early resignation from Obama before he crashes everything. He's reckless!

I can't believe my tax dollars are being used to screw up somebody's bread and butter. I did not vote for him. I'm an unwilling majority shareholder of GM and i never saw a proxy. Where's the democracy in all of this? As a taxpayer this is not what I wanted, the polls clearly reveal that.

I'm not concerned with a liberal's response. Any evil Bush did is no excuse for this mess. If they hated capitalism so much, they should hang out with their Commie guerrilla friends in Columbia and Cuba.

This comment is coming so late but I couldn't believe anyone using this as an opportunity to trash the sellers. I worked in the finance department.
The dealers are retail, but how else will you get the vehicle? Their job is to sell. They can't control how the car is made.

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