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Dude, where did all the dealerships go?

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  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,749
    I'm sure they are well protected with Cosmoline.

    Hahaha. They do put a plastic cover of some kind on the hood and trunk I believe. But the roof is pretty much unprotected. We used to live in the area and the air is a killer on paint jobs. After a week you would have thought we had been off road in our car. I used to wash my car at least once a week.

    But it is a strange site to see those lots so full. The article pretty much indicates that the manufacturers are trying to rent space form the container yards. US lines, Matson, Meserk, Sea Train are all down there. There is just no space to store all of those cars and the dealers don't want them. Like the one truck driver said they can't even take them out of state because those dealers no longer want them.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,627
    kind of reminds me of a few years ago, when chrysler went crazy producing vehicles in anticipation of a possible strike.
    in the detroit area, it seemed like every available previously open lot was filled with chryslers.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,209
    Now there's an idea - all those containers that have been shipped over here from China over the years are just stacked up. Too expensive to ship 'em back empty. So just park a car or two in each one and stack them up. That'll keep the cars out of the weather, keep the acid rain off of them, protect them from vandalism, etc.

    Stick some T-111 siding on the containers and you can sell every car complete with its own garage.

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    What I meant was that all cars spend a little time sitting there, so ones like the Prius, which is still selling well, would still spend a few days there. Of course I didn't mean to imply that the thrust of the article was wrong - some cars are spending months sitting there. But even now Toyota dealers don't have big stocks of Corollas, Yarises, and Priuses. They just finally have a few to sell, after a summer of having none of any of those models.

    Honda and Toyota are both running extra incentive programs right now that are unusual in their timing (Honda in particular is usually as regular as clockwork). I wonder if it is helping their dealers at all. Will GM be able to continue doing the same thing for its dealers if the money doesn't come through from Congress in December?

    I wish there were an easy way to look up the mix of import vs domestic dealers that are disappearing. We lost our Nissan dealer in my county about two years ago, another one that just went in the middle of the night. But the one in the next county over actually ended up expanding his business as a result. Aside from that, I can't think of any import dealers we have lost locally.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,908
    Should those dealers that are struggling get a piece of the bailout pie?

    I think the dealers should be ahead of the Big 3 corporate for handouts. After all they are stuck with what ever crap the automaker sends them. They can't sell what no one wants. They are the first to lose money. They probably are not even considered because they don't have a large voting block.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,749
    And that is the problem isn't it? When you don't have a big voice your choices are limited. They simply go out of business.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    if those port cars are '09s or '08s.. And, I still wonder to this day what happened to all those Chrysler cars parked in the Detroit area parking lots...
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,749
    "if those port cars are '09s or '08s.. And, I still wonder to this day what happened to all those Chrysler cars parked in the Detroit area parking lots..."

    Could be some of both. At 90 days some of them got there late August. But I would imagine the same thing will happen with these cars as the Chryslers you talked about, big discounts when they start flowing. At least they should be discounted after sitting that long.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,155
    I wonder if there's a picture from back in the day with a lot filled with R-bodies? It would be like andre1969's version of heaven.
  • mattandimattandi Posts: 588
    Here is what we have locally. Three companies, family owned and operated for the most part, have dealerships covering most of the nameplates. For example, Flow Motors has lots for Acura, Audi, Subaru, Volkswagen, Suzuki, Honda, Chevrolet, Saturn, Hummer, Saab, GMC, Pontiac, Buick, and Cadillac. The Modern dealerships are owned by the Fowler family. They have lots for Nissan, Infinity, Toyota, Lexus, Scion, Chevy, and Hyundai. The Bob King group has lots for Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, and Mitsu. FoMoCo and Chrysler are not a part of any of these big groups, but one private partnership has a few FoMoCo lots.

    I am wondering if such dealer consolidation (diversification?) will help protect the companies and help them weather the storm. Is this type of situation common elsewhere? I notice it in the nearby cities. We haven't lost a new car dealer in a while locally. Just last week though, a Dodge dealer announced their closing after 40 years in business. They were one of the few remaining stand alone Dodge dealers left anywhere, so I guess the writing has been on the wall for a while for them.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I am wondering if such dealer consolidation (diversification?) will help protect the companies and help them weather the storm

    Yes, I have been thinking it would do just that, and that is one thing I think some bailout money could be put towards - helping them to do that.

    With the $20 billion we gave Citibank yesterday, their total is now at $45 billion. Just think how many struggling dealers you could help with a sum of money like that. And that would still be less than they are proposing to give to automakers, who will take the money and make it disappear, only to be back at our door asking for more next year....

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    We had a Chrysler dealership purchase a Dodge dealership. I guess Chrysler corp. "encouraged" this takeover. A longtime Lincoln-Mercury dealership (Wright Bros.) is merging with a local ford dealership in Jan. 2009. Th general manager at the Lincoln-Mercury dealership said Ford encouraged this consolidation as well.

    Again, I think Ford realized a couple of years ago that business as usual was not going to work and is making the necessary changes. Wagoner should be talking to Mulally more.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,329
    We've had that. The FLM dealer ate up the Nissan and Honda dealerships as well as the Jeep (then Jeep-Eagle) dealership. The Chrysler (at the time Chrysler-Plymouth) dealer got the Dodge dealership.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,908
    I just received a letter that the dealer I bought my Sequoia from has changed owners. Not sure if they are part of some conglomerate. Does not seem like a good time to be going into the car business. He may have gotten a real deal.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,209
    I was test driving a Honda Fit today and the dealer is on an auto row that was probably fine 10 years ago. Now the traffic out there is awful, especially this time of the year, since our only real mall is next door to them.

    So the gentleman mentions that they are planning to move to a better location closer to my house, but plans are on hold "for a few months" as the credit situation shakes out.

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  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,749
    But it reminds me a bit of when our city shopping stores started folding. Big malls opened and all the big stores moved there and the city centers died. We used to have dealers in different parts of town but now almost all of the new car dealers are in big auto parks and yes they are all owned by some big family of corporation. Where we used ot live the same people own Chrysler/Jeep, Toyota, Kia/Hyundai, and Suzuki. Chevrolet,Ford and Nissan are stand alone but are part of the Auto park. Only Mazda and Subaru are not in the car park.

    Still they are producing more cars than we are buying and I don't believe we can see the end of the tunnel yet. Right now there is just about no deal they could offer me to get me into the showroom and I know I am not alone. Zero interest sounds good but loans can be a bear to get.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,329
    I hear you but they certainly are trying. Ford is practically giving Fusions away.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,749
    Nissan is doing the same for their mini van but what would I commit myself to a loan commitment at a time when we have no clue where the economy is going? I can buy a lot of food for whatever they want for a Fusion or even a Fit for the next three years. I know I am not alone in my feelings because just about everyone I talk to says the same thing. If your vehicle is paid for why take out a loan on a new one when your 401K and house is losing money and your job may or may not be there in a year? And even if you have a job what chance do you think we have of getting a raise that will cover part of what a car payment would cost you? No thanks, I keep my money for living today and worry about recovery when recovery starts to show its face.

    That being said if they started selling some of these sub compacts for under 9 or 10k and I could drop cash on the hood maybe I would think about it. But in truth most of the Small cars simply aren't worth more than 9k considering what they offer and at $2.00 a gallon they aren't as interesting.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,912
    Yesterday I was out in the area where Saturn of Bowie used to be. Their lot is now full of Toyotas, and across the front of the showroom building is a banner that reads "The NEW Toyota of Bowie"!

    Damn. I wonder if they ended up getting the Chevy dealer, too? :surprise:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    is right by the freeway, so it's easy to see how busy they are as you drive by. And the answer is, they aren't. They are deserted. But they can't take up a Toyota franchise, there's already one in Fairfield!

    Saturn dealers might have a brighter future if GM manages the sale of the brand as the new turnaround plan envisions. Apparently there are about 500 of them across the country, not a whole lot when you think about it.....

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,908
    Look at the bright side. With dealers going out of business there will be turn key facilities for companies like Tata and Chery to set up dealerships. Or any one of the EV dealerships that will be starting up in the next couple years.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    this morning with the San Francisco GM dealer that recently went out of business after more than 60 years of operation.

    I was intrigued to note the owner report that 86% of the San Francisco regional market belongs to the imports, with only 14% market share for all three domestics combined. No wonder he was having a tough time making a go of it.

    I expect there will be a few more failures of domestic dealers in my area before it is all over.

    gagrice: I wouldn't be surprised to see something some have already speculated might happen: SAIC begin to sell its own vehicles through former (and/or current) GM dealers in the U.S. I would think that would be less than five years out.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,908
    If GM were to pull the plug on US operations, it would be less than 5 years. On a side note. My friend that had many years at a big Ford agency, lost his mechanic job. He thought he had another shop lined up and they closed this weekend. I got it from his wife. Not sure which dealership it was.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I was kinda wondering if there wouldn't be a way in which GM could somehow distribute SAIC cars through its network and profit from the arrangement....

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,155
    Good idea on an individual basis. However, if people kept hoarding their money and keeping their old hoopties, the recovery will never happen.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,749
    You could be right. But maybe someone will come along and make a practical entry level car at realistic prices. There is simply no excuse for a 15K Smart car. Not in R&D and not it cost to manufacture. At best it should be a 8K car. It isn't as technically as advanced as a motorcycle. Take the Auto industry down a peg and find other ways to get from point A to point B and maybe we would get the cars we deserve rather that the cars they feel like making. All auto dealers should be like Saturn or Lexus not like VW. When you walk in you are the customer and shouldn't be treated like a patsy. So if the auto dealers are suffering maybe they should think about treating customers like they matter rather than a cow to milk. But that is just how I feel. I will not be interested in any "new" car produced right now because they are not "new" but only redone from what they already had. Even the new small diesels they are talking about sending are only cars they already produce some place else. So I will drive what I have till the wheels fall off unless they come up with something that that is truly new and worth looking at.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,627
    i drove by a closed ford dealer a few days ago, and there were 2 model t's in the showroom. :surprise:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,596
    I wonder if they were leftover '27s ;)
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,749
    We managed to live through Nissan trying to fold and selling off its Financial arm to Renault. Kia went belly up and Hyundai was forced to buy them so they wouldn't be a monopoly in Korea. Saab was bought lock stock and barrel as was Volvo. Most of the household names england are now owned by the Germans or the US. Isn't the Queens vehicle of choice owned by Ford? We can survive this as well. We simply don't need as many dealers as we have.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,209
    Bill Buckner's auto dealership closes

    Yeah, that Bill Buckner. He had a Chrysler shop up the road.

    The same TV station (KTBA) is running this story too:

    "Dan Wiebold Jr. has been selling cars for over 20 years and says dealers across the country are taking an unprecedented hit.

    "They're closing up at roughly two a day which is 60 a month nationwide," said Wiebold. "

    Local auto dealers hope Congress will save their industry

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