West Texas GM dealers appear safe - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/18/09

West Texas GM dealers appear safe

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By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Gene Messer and every other local GM dealership we talked to on Monday say they aren't going anywhere, but other parts of the country aren't as lucky.

Eleven-hundred GM dealerships across the country will have to close their doors by the fall of 2010.

But so far West Texas dealers have bucked the trend.

"I guess you're always worried, it's a situation where you always wonder what criteria they are going to use, you would like to think it would be sales, but I think the number of dealers in an area has something to do with it," said Gene Messer Market Manager Pete Ruiz.    

At Scoggin Dickey they say 80 years of hard work was in their favor. "We weren't apprehensive about it we pretty much assumed our location and the job that we do for General Motors for all these years that we wouldn't be affected and we weren't," said John Zwiacher with Scoggin-Dickey. 

Ruiz says in the last year Gene Messer has seen a decrease of 50%-60% in new car sales, something he hopes will change soon.

"As soon as we can get all of this settled and everybody understands what the GM plan even if the government's involved that they are around here to stay which is our belief there will be some changes but they'll be here, General Motors is not going to go away," said Ruiz.  

But that decline in sales isn't enough to make Ruiz's lot among the top underperforming dealerships in the country. "It depends upon how many of that particular franchise are being sold in area and how many dealers they need to support that so there was a question in our mind about that we were a little concerned," said Ruiz.  

Unlike Chrysler figuring out what dealerships won't be renewed may take some time. "Chrysler put out a list, but on General Motors my understanding is there is not going to be an official list to pull or be able to look at, but I believe it is one of those things that will eventually over a period of time come out," said Ruiz.

But one thing's for sure right now it feels good to be a GM dealership in West Texas. "We are very grateful, but again it's a lot of hard work it's not just an accident, all of the dealers in my opinion in West Texas work hard," said Zwiacher.   

General Motors say the cuts don't lie in one geographical region, but they are spread out all over the country. They say nearly every state in the country will be affected in way or another.

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5/15/09
GM closes 1,100 dealerships
The ax fell at more than a thousand Chevy, Buick and GMC dealerships across the country Friday.

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