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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Business as usual for GM dealer

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rob York isn't concerned with the future.

He's only thinking about the present.

Late last week, General Motors Corp. announced it was terminating 1,100 of its national dealer franchises late next year.

York, the dealer/owner of York Chevrolet/Pontiac/Buick in Brazil and York Chevy/Pontiac/Buick/GMS in Greencastle, told The Brazil Times Thursday his dealerships have moved forward full speed ahead.

"I've had several people call me asking for an opinion," York said. "But it's business as usual. Our business is on the upward swing."

York said late last year was not kind to the automotive industry. However, he's seen an increase in sales this year, making him optimistic for the remainder of 2009.

"Last month was down a little bit, but March was up significantly," York said. "May is holding pretty steady.

"Nothing really has changed. I'm just treating every day as business as usual. We've been able to maintain and grow a little throughout this. We continue to see traffic. But we've been very, very fortunate."

More than 1,000 GM dealers received letters via FedEx Friday, May 15, notifying contracts with the automotive franchise would not be renewed past 2010. The letters stated dealers were judged on sales, customer service scores, location, condition of facilities and other criteria.

The GM decision came one day after officials with Chrysler announced it was also cutting dealerships.

York, a Greencastle native, said he has not personally seen one of the letters. However, he has spoken with friends in the industry -- specifically Chrysler dealers -- that recently received notice.

"I continue to think of those folks," York said. "There are a lot of great people in our industry. My thoughts go out to those people."

By cutting the dealerships, GM said it was eliminating 40 percent of its retail network.

The cuts, according to officials, are part of a larger plan by GM in an effort to restructure.

York said despite the recent announcement, his two dealerships are still moving forward.

In fact, he said the Greencastle dealership would be celebrating an anniversary in June. The store opened in 1987 while the Brazil business opened in 2005.

"We've had to change the way we do business," he said. "But we've been fortunate with the growth. As long as the growth is there and continues, obviously, that's a great thing.

"From our perspective, I don't think, frankly, anything has changed."

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