ABERDEEN – General Motors’ restructuring plan will cost Monroe County one of its two GM dealerships.
Jimmy Clark, co-owner of Larry Clark Chevrolet Pontiac Buick in Aberdeen, said his dealership will consolidate by June 1 with Larry Clark Chevrolet Cadillac GMC in Amory.
Larry and Jimmy Clark are brothers.
“This is part of GM’s restructuring,” Jimmy Clark said. “This is not about us wanting to leave Aberdeen. It’s been coming and it’s the reality of the economy. GM is looking at markets where there are two or more dealerships. You are going to see more of this – even within a hundred miles of our stores.”
On Monday, GM said it would eliminate about 42 percent of its dealerships nationwide – about 2,600 – as part of its revised business plan. GM also said it was axing its Pontiac brand by the end of the year.
GM said thinning its dealers ranks would help make the remaining outlets more profitable.
The Aberdeen store employs 15 people and has been operating for about six years. The Amory location has 24 employees.
Larry Clark said it’s unclear how the consolidation will affect the Aberdeen employees. But the move, he said, would make the Amory store a “full-line” General Motors dealership.
Aberdeen Mayor Jim Ballard said the loss of the Aberdeen dealership will hurt a city with an already fragile economy.
“The loss of this dealership is sad, from both an economic standpoint and from a personal perspective,” Ballard said. “Jimmy Clark is a good friend and an asset to the community and our thoughts are with him. And from an economic standpoint, it is pretty substantial. This will affect our tax base and have an impact on city’s budget for next year. This is not good news for Aberdeen.”
Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal