Region’s dealers express support for ‘new GM’

AMORY – Larry Clark recently consolidated his General Motors’ dealerships, merging his Buick, Chevrolet and Pontiac business in Aberdeen to his Amory location, which carries Chevy, Cadillac and GMC.
Now that he has most of the GM stable under one roof, Clark said it’s time to concentrate on selling and servicing “the best vehicles in the world.”
GM’s bankruptcy filing Monday came as no surprise, Clark and other area GM dealers said. But it gives the automaker a new start.
“They say they’ll be getting out of bankruptcy in 60 to 90 days, and everything is business as usual,” he said. “The warranties are being honored, there are many incentives available – the public shouldn’t be worried.”
Indeed, GM isn’t out of business. Rather, it is restructuring, streamlining its operations by closing plants, trimming its number of vehicles and shuttering dealerships.
Sammy Green, co-owner of Courtesy Chevy Buick in Booneville, is one of those dealerships scheduled to close next year. He said GM probably should have filed for bankruptcy protection much earlier.
“They should have done it before taking bailout money the first time,” he said. “It’s incredible that GM used to have a 60 percent market share in the U.S.
“I don’t know that much about the ‘new GM’ yet but I think it can do well,” he said.
Interestingly, despite getting notice that his dealership will be closing next year, Green said he’s seen an uptick in customer traffic.
Is it really a good time to buy a car?
“Oh, you know we dealers will tell you that all the time,” he said with a laugh. “It’s always a good time to buy a car.”
Rudy Dossett III, general manager of Dossett Big Four in Tupelo, which carries Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac and GMC said a leaner, meaner GM will emerge.
Customers aren’t shying away from GM and are still buying its products, Dossett said. The dealership recently wrapped up its annual Memorial Day “Autofest” that spanned two weeks. Dossett said sales were near the average 95 to 100 vehicles it usually sells.
“With this economy and all that’s going on, we have no complaints,” he said. “With the GM bankruptcy, everybody knew it was going to happen. Now that the news is official, it’s time to let everyone know that GM is still going to be there afterward.”

Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@djournal.com.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal