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NYT: Local Pillars, Auto Dealerships Teeter as Big Three Decline [View All]

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 08:25 AM
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NYT: Local Pillars, Auto Dealerships Teeter as Big Three Decline
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/business/30dealer.htm...


Daron Dean for The New York Times

Sales have plunged at a family dealership in Quincy, Fla.

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS
Published: November 29, 2008

QUINCY, Fla. Bruce Thomas washed cars at his fathers General Motors dealership here at age 12, changed oil in high school, and sold his first Pontiac during college.

His commitment to a famed American industry, part business and part romance, never waned. He took over his familys two dealerships, building a small fortune. In turn, he showered generosity on local churches, school athletic teams, charity golf tournaments and a group that helps women find jobs out of prison.

But suddenly, all of Mr. Thomass success appears to be melting away.

Days go by without a sale. His debts are mounting. His friends offer him cash to get by. Im trying to survive as a car dealer, said Mr. Thomas, now 59, and I dont know if I can.




Top executives of the Big Three automakers are preparing to return to Washington this week with business plans they hope will lead to a federal bailout. But any government help will probably come too late for thousands of dealers like Mr. Thomas who sell American brands.

They have been struggling for years, as Detroits fortunes waned, but what remains of their sales is evaporating along with consumer confidence and credit.

FULL 2 page story at link.

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