Jerry Moore (Admin)
Post Number: 23174
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|Posted on Saturday, June 06, 2009 - 1:55 pm: ||
Local dealer loses appeal
"I'm disgusted," says owner of Salisbury Chevrolet as she accepts GM agreement
By CATHY WOODRUFF, Albany (NY) Times Union
June 6, 2009
I'm so sorry for you, Anna, and your employees.
GLENVILLE -- Anna Gerrity has reluctantly decided to close Salisbury Chevrolet.
Gerrity, a widow who became involved in running the family-owned dealership on Route 50 in 2001, tried to appeal a May 15 General Motors Corp. letter that put her business among 1,100 dealerships whose franchises would lapse in 2010.
The appeal apparently was rejected, she said, and she feels she now has no choice but to accept a so-called "wind-down" agreement with GM.
"I'm disgusted," she said, and "a lot of people who work here are so angry. Their whole lives are being uprooted. This has a lot of bad repercussions."
Gerrity declined to discuss details of the wind-down agreement because it includes a confidentiality provision that makes it unclear how much she can say to whom about why she decided to accept an end to her franchise.
She hasn't yet set a closing date. The dealership employs about 20 people.
Salisbury is among an unknown number of dealers in the Capital Region targeted for closure by GM. While GM officials have said they selected underperforming franchises, many owners, including Gerrity, have said their businesses remained profitable.
Meanwhile, Chrysler compiled a list of 789 dealers, including three in the Capital Region, slated to close on Tuesday as part of its bankruptcy plan.
Even dealers who weren't on the closure lists now are concerned about their futures, said Deborah Dorman, president of the Eastern New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers.
"GM has offered these outrageously onerous agreements to dealers who are to stay in business," she said, and "it's sign it or else. They might as well hold a gun to their heads."
Dorman said she sees slim hope of a reprieve from members of Congress upset with the impact of the carmakers' plans on local dealers, jobs and economies and appeals Friday to the car makers by the National Auto Dealers Association.
At least two bills that could address some concerns are circulating in the U.S. Senate, she said.