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Dude, where did all the dealerships go?

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    You've been thinking that for 20 years and you haven't applied to Toyota for a franchise? What are you waiting for??? ;-)

    One thing I DO expect to disappear is Lincoln Mercury dealers - I expect they will mostly be consolidated into Ford dealerships. None of the new Lincolns has really hit the sales sweet spot including the very latest ones.

    Dealers that WANT to consolidate and are not being assisted in doing so by the manufacturer would be another group I think should be eligible for some bailout money, before we hand billions to corporate execs at the automakers.

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

  • General Motors has over 7,000 dealerships for its Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn brands in the U.S. (Saab excluded), while the Ford Motor Company has around 4,400 dealerships. The linked article compares both to Toyota Motor Co. which currently has 1,430 dealerships.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    I thought about seeing what would be involved in a Toyota franchise but I can't imagine actually putting all that together. I guess no one else did either...

    20 miles isn't far. I would think Toyota likes it that way.

    Some of the luxury brands aren't even in te county - Lexus, Infiniti, Acura. We used to have BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Audi franchises up by the Toyota dealer is but they've been gone for years.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    There's no link in your post as far as I can tell. Would love to read it if you would post again and provide the link.

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

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,730
    The news had a picture of the Port of LA harbor. The lots were full of cars, imported, and they were not moving. It was either NBC or CBS I don't remember which. The did a brief special on the problem. The largest premium foreign car dealer in Orange county just closed. There are more than domestic dealers taking a hit. he OC register said:
    "At least nine Orange County auto dealers – selling Chevrolets, Chryslers, Dodges, Nissans, Saturns and other brands – have closed since January, brought down by sluggish sales and tight credit."

    It isn't likely to get better anytime soon and I wouldn't be surprised if more dealerships close. But the used car market should blossom.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    This one is Long Beach (maybe the same place?).

    image

    Imported vehicles piling up at ports of entry
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    to see a few Priuses in that lot- aren't those selling well, despite the slump?

    I would think that Toyota would want to get those Priuses out of the port and into dealers...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Everything imported sits in those lots for a few days, they have to clear customs or something.

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

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,730
    Yes, that looks like the Vincent Thomas Bridge in the back ground. But that is only a small part of the number of cars there. I can remember when those lots were almost empty at least half of the time. It is pretty much as Nippon posted earlier in a forum about Toyota, even they are suffering. No new cars are selling well, some are selling but there is a glut in the California market. Nissan is even worse off from what I have been reading. The news said the dealers simply don't have room for them so they are sitting there in that salt air for 60 to 90 days. It is absolutely true the domestics are being hurt and the domestic dealers are suffering but the imports didn't escape and we can't see the end of the tunnel yet. This is not the normal turn around that those of us living in this area have seen for years. But then the News could be just pushing our buttons. But Edmunds published the article and when they say MB has had cars there for a few months that is more than two. This is way beyond clearing customs. Just read the article it sounds pretty much like what the News said.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    so they are sitting there in that salt air for 60 to 90 days.

    I'm sure they are well protected with Cosmoline. :P

    Every tire is probably pumped up to 60 psi too.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,730
    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: 9,444
    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.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    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.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    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: 28,678
    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: 2,730
    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: 2,730
    "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: 15,067
    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.
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