GM includes Libby dealership in cuts
by Brent Shrum, Kootenai Valley Record
May 28, 2009
Libbyís Cabinet Mountain Chevrolet Pontiac has been notified that it is one of 1,100 dealerships across the country that may be cut from the General Motors network late next year.
Cabinet Mountain president Dick Hoyer said he received a letter from GM on Friday, May 15, telling him that "regardless, Iím a dealer until November 2010."
The decision to drop the dealership hasnít been finalized, Hoyer said.
"I have until the end of the month to respond, which I will," he said.
Hoyer said heís confident the dealership will remain in Libby for the long run. In making its decision to pare down its dealer network, GM didnít have the time or the manpower to analyze each dealership on an individual basis, Hoyer said. The fact that Cabinet Mountain is the only GM dealer for 100 miles, and that business has been improving markedly this spring after a slow winter, should count in favor of retaining the dealership, he said.
A lot can happen between now and November 2010, Hoyer said.
"I donít understand why Congress canít understand that closing dealerships will only add to the problem we already have, which is unemployment," he said.
Dealers arenít a drain on the automakers but instead represent the manufacturersí direct customers, Hoyer said. Already, a backlash is brewing against the cutbacks in the number of dealers selling vehicles made by financially troubled GM and Chrysler, he noted.
"The government says downsize, reorganize," he said. "GM was forced to show something, even though we are not an expense."
Hoyerís dealership is one of at least four in Montana to be put on notice by GM. Other dealers that were notified include Scarff Auto Center in Kalispell and Headwaters GMC in Three Forks and Livingston.
Editorís Note: See the May 26, 2009 edition of the Kootenai Valley Record for the printed version of this story. The Kootenai Valley Record publishes once a week, now on Tuesday, in Libby, Montana. They are a locally owned community newspaper, located at 403 Mineral Avenue in Libby. For in-county and out-of-county subscription information, call 406-293-2424, or e-mail email@example.com.