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Bill Freehling is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Bill Freehling.

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GM conference call

Still no word on whether any local dealers are affected by GM’s decision to close 1,100 dealerships that are underperforming. The list isn’t being made public, so many affected dealers might choose not to reveal that they did get one of the letters.

Kelly Hannon and I listened in on a conference call at noon with Mark LaNeve, General Motors North America vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing, Here are among the points he made:

  • The letters went out yesterday to 1,100 dealerships and started coming in today. They weren’t termination notices but rather stated that GM wouldn’t be extending their sales agreement after October 2010. The dealerships will have until then to wind down their business. Affected dealerships were given the right to submit any additional information to persuade GM otherwise.
  • Dealerships that sell just a small number of cars per year or those performing below average were the ones that got the letters. GM hopes that the affected dealerships will slowly wind down their business and sell off their inventory.
  • The decisions were painful for everyone affected, but in the long-term it was the best decision for the company and the dealers that remain, LaNeve said. Cut dealerships are spread throughout the country.

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/businessbrowser/2009/05/15/gm-conference-call/

  • Duncil

    You and Kelly are doing a first-rate job of trying to stay on top of the developing story. I hope you will consider touching on these points when you go to press. First, once GM files bankruptcy (assuming they do) will the list of dealers then become public information? Like the Chrysler owners, there are a lot of GM owners out there with what seem to be worthless warranties. It does not look like there are any Chrysler dealers left in Virginia. Second, I just don’t get how cutting marketing budgets in half and eliminating the retail outlets for the vehicles is helping these manufacturers. It seems to me this is a boon for Ford (so far) and the imports. Third, why is the media saying “Chrysler” or “GM” is doing the closings when it is the direct cause and effect of Obamanomics? Keep up the good work!

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