Bruce Cavenaugh lays off employees
cars300.jpg
Prices were not the only thing being slashed at a Wilmington car dealership today. 18 employees lost their job at Bruce Cavenaugh Automart on Market Street Monday. Bruce Cavenaugh owns 3 car dealerships on Market Street. After Monday's consolidation, he is only selling cars at two of them. Employees spent the day moving cars from Cavenaugh's Automart to the Super Store just down Market Street. Cavenaugh said he is making the same cutbacks people are making at home. “When things slow down a little bit, you have to be willing to adjust your cost. It's as if you were to personally find out you were to be making 20 percent less money in the coming year.” Cavenaugh has sold cars in the area for more than 30 years. He said he has seen sales decline every 10 years or so before they rise again. “There are sways in the economy, sometimes it's good, sometimes it slows down, then it's good, then it slows down. It's never always straight up,” Cavenaugh said. Experts say that the current buying slow down could lead to a big sales increase in the future. “We may see extra business coming. This pent up demand that should have been happening over the past month or two, but it hasn't,” said certified financial expert Ross Marino. While slower than normal sales caused Cavenaugh to consolidate his Automart lot, he said that doing so actually helps those that are buying a car. “We feel like by watching our expenses and cutting our expenses we can continue to sell cars for less than our competition does.” Marino said some people might be waiting till after the election to make big decisions like buying a car. Others want to make sure they get the best price possible, but if they wait too long, prices could start to rise.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

From my understanding Bruce Cavenaugh owns the car dealership. So when all is said and done, whose jobs are they? Are the jobs the employees jobs, or Bruce Cavenaugh's jobs? Who owns the jobs? If the employees owned the jobs, then they wouldn't be getting terminated would they? Mr. Cavenaugh let his employees fill the jobs and they are his jobs if he decides to do away with them. My current job is not "my" job, but right now I am blessed to be able to work at this job and hope and pray I am allowed to keep this job. From what I am reading here it sounds as if most of you would rather see the Captain (Mr. Cavenaugh) go down with his ship (his dealerships) instead of letting a few employees go. Why don't you ask the other people he still employs if they agree.
To surf city Tom. sorry you were escorted out of your job at gunpoint. I'm very glad you made it to our country.Maybe it won't come to that here!
It's not easy being a business owner. Of course there will be lash outs and disagreements on the rights and wrongs in this scenario. However, when personally faced with a business decision of begrudgingly letting some people go or letting my business tank while trying to play the nice guy I would have done the same. If Mr Cavenaugh had tried to keep every store open and continued to lose money, then everyone would be out of a job and not just some. I like that he included a personal letter of recommendation for the employees. Also, even if the "package" only contained website and contact numbers for Cobra, etc, it is still better than a lot would have given. Mr. Cavenaugh never mentioned "severance" from what I see. It came up from thin air. As for the shortness of his statement and "coldness", try owning a business and telling people "Friday will be your last day, and I am sorry" and see what happens. Enough Said. It has to be done that way even if they hated to do it that way.
One last comment. Things could have been handeled better.Pack your bags and leave immediatly was awfully callous.Hope your family has a nice holiday would have gone a long way. Thanks!
and there is no easy way to handle such a situation. In 27 years with the Insurance Industry, I went through 2 downsizings. In both instances, management had armed security present to escort terminated employees to their desks where they had 5 minutes to gather personal belongings before being escorted off the premises. And you were not offered cab fare to get home when they took the keys to your company car. Mr Cavneaugh is making tough decisions in tough times. Funny how no one is beating up on Mr. Wilson after the closure of Wilson's and the loss of 70 jobs.
I guess some people just do not remember the years past that times got this tough. We bounced back. It is devasting to get laid off much less fired in these trying times. For whatever reason the Cavanaugh man decided to get out, the employees will suffer. There are many car dealers in Wilmington but few buyers these days. Keep you chin up and one day it will change for the better. We have no place to go but UP!
This comment is for vicous.Not all of the layed off employees were sales. There wasn't a severence package for salaried employees either.The way this is spinning maybe we should try politics.
While I understand that all involved in layoffs were not in sales, it is somewhat unreasonable to expect a company as small as BC's to offer severence packages. Severence is a benefit that is rare nowdays and limited to larger corporations as a convenience to severed employees. It is a courtesy, not a requirement. I realize that this is an unfortunate situation for all involved and they all have my sympathy. Unfortunately, with the current condition of the nations economy and the recent efforts to feed back the billions of dollars greedily pocketed by the big shots, we can all expect to see a lot more employee layoffs, business closings and foreclosures. We can't blame and persecute Bruce Cavenaugh for that, he is only trying to adjust as you and I are, just on a different scale. There is nothing that can be said to remove the disdain experienced by the affected employees, I can only encourage them stay positive and try to work their way through this.
Some of you posters are as vicious as a pack of wolves...and about as well informed. Bruce has been selling cars in this are for a long time and has an excellent reputation, not only for the quality of his product, but his responsiveness to his customers and his contributions to the local area. This is a difficult reputation to maintain, especially as a used car dealer. Times are tough right now, small car lots are closing around here weekly and sales are down everywhere. High gas prices, stock market collapse, loss of jobs, shrinking retiremnet funds and frozen wages are affecting everybody and if you just happen to have a job in sales of anykind, you had best start looking for a new career! Bruce is having to adjust to maintain his business and support his customers. We are all having to adjust by shopping for bargains and putting off major purchases like new and late model cars. Boat builders are closing down all over as people aren't going to buy them at his time. So to all of you that want to bash Bruce Cavenaugh and his method of handling his business, realize that he is only a small example of what is going on all over in our current society. One other thing to keep in mind is that when one accepts a role in sales, sales of anything from potato chips to heavy equipment, when your numbers go down, you usually do as well. It is a rare case for sales people to receive severence packages as their income is based on their ability to sell, the benefits are the product they represent.
HE IS DISHONEST... PERIOD
If I had to guess, you're either Bruce or a good friend. While I have never worked for him, a family member has. I understand your dissapproval of some harsh comments.This is a very tough time for all businesses. The thing is, when some people invest money in, lets say, a tv station (see top ad for Bruce), the story sounds as if he's struggling and feels so horrible. His charities have been great,etc, but when you've seen things on the inside, it's a different story. Mr Cavenaugh knows theres a lot of things he'd like to erase:). Fact is, no can do. Things are hard in all car sales. That dosen't mean you call a meeting and tell your employees to vacate with your belongings immediately. How about, "I'm sorry for you and your family...", or "I wish things could be different, but", maybe even kiss my butt, but he just walked out.Nobody there wants to bash the man, but only wants you to know that sometimes if people sound so wonderfully nice, it'd not as good as it sounds. Money can't buy us everything. As for the employees, they aren't helpless. I know most of them! Most area car businesses are excited to have the opportunity to hire them.
I worked for a Fortune 50 company and nobody had much sympathy for me when I was brought in front of my superiors and asked to pack up my things and leave. I guess some of us want to believe in fairy tales. It's my understanding that businesses operate as a business not as a social service center. I have zero sympathy for anyone on here who has lost a job. None. I am glad you are now educated on what the real world is about and I didn't see your name on the dealership sign. You worked for someone all along. Who were you kidding?
Don't be so naive. Who cares about whether you have sympathy or not? The point of all the emotion is that you as the public don't need to be fooled by those that seem "so nice and giving." Noone wants your sympathy, just that people know the truth. Working with Bruce was hell anyway and I noticed that because I heard about it on a daily basis!I think it takes a complete moron to not know they're working for someone else. **As for the blogger who said that the severence package "came out of thin air", go back and read the article, and you obviously did not see Bruce on camera. No one is mad about what they actually got. They're mad that he portrayed it like he was doing someone a favor. Any employee fired anywhere gets the UI # and ways to get there 401K info. Nobody wants anymore of his $ or his "social service." They have survived before this and I'm sure they're fine now, just less bs.
similar business decisions in the insurance industry, I can empathize with the terminated employees. However, it is unfortunate that while everyone rushes to hang Mr. Cavenaugh, they fail to mention his many charitable activities in the community. They fail to note his long time support of UNCW. Business is Business. No one can make the kind of decsions he had to make lightly or without a lot of lost sleep. For the record, I do not work for him; have never bought a car from him; nor have I even met him. But, for those who choose to beat him up, be fair and look at all aspects of this business leader. If it affects him, rest assured he is not the only business leader wrestling with these types of decisions.
WITH COMMENTS THIS POSITIVE IT IS EASY TO TELL THAT YOU HAVE NEVER WORKED FOR BRUCE. IF YOU HAD YOU WOULD BE SHOCKED AT HOW OFTEN YOUR PAY CHECK DID NOT MATCH THE PAY SHEET THAT YOU SIGNED OFF ON.COMMUNITY RELATIONS WAS MUCH MORE IMPORTENT THAN EMPLOYEE WELFARE. CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES !! MORE LIKE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN FREE ADVERTISING
you can not read. I clearly stated I had never worked for him. I never bought a car from him. I have never met him. If he is guilty of what you allege, why not go to the Department of Labor and file a complaint? Or is this juat another of the many posts which are all bull and no substance?
The real sadness of the Cavenaugh story is the image is more important than the people who helped you battle the tough times.Soon you'll be on your own GOOD LUCK!
Way to go! Way to call WWAY to your lot for advertisement!
Its unfortunate that there is yet another story of being laid off. I understand Georgia Pacific, etc but for the amount of advertising spent at this dealership, it seems to have taken from the very families of the employees who worked there. What a shame.
I like the severance package of "7 tricks to getting an interview" and the number to the UI office and cobra. Good going Bruce. Way to mislead the public about how wonderful you are.
Just to clarify, Mr Cavenaugh is selling the Automart and the Auto Palace per his meeting this morning. Also, his severance package only included the number to cobra, the website to unemployment agency, and sample resumes.. Employees that were laid off and currently still employed were due to be paid on the 20th those checks were not dispersed today.. The only comment made during this morning meeting was to to get your personal belongings and to leave the property as soon as possible..