Thursday it was Chrysler, Friday it was General Motors telling their dealers they are out. Eleven-hundred dealers got letters today. Three dealers control the GM franchises in Wilmington proper, Jeff Gordon Chevrolet, Bob King GMC, Buick, Pontiac, and Rippy Cadillac, Saturn, Hummer, and Saab. That is a mouthful of models, which GM says is part of the problem. There was no letter for Jeff Gordon Chevy. Although, it's a stand alone brand dealership, it's a big time, well financed, high volume operator. The kind GM is trying to nurture, rather than take out. The same goes for Bob King, although GM is shutting down the Pontiac line. Rippy Cadillac is secure, but GM is actively looking to sell its Saturn, Hummer, and Saab lines. Those dealerships will remain open for now. GM said it has targeted underperforming operations in this round of cuts. Unlike Chrysler, which gave dealerships like D&E Dodge a short termination deadline of June 9th, General Motors is offering a much longer wind down time, into late 2010. GM Vice President Mark LaNeve said, "It's a much better situation for us in terms of inventory disposal. Better for the dealer in terms of more time to transfer his business. And better for employees to find other jobs." The National Auto Dealers Association estimates that as many as 150,000 people could lose their jobs if GM and Chrylser cut all of the dealerships they're planning on.
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