Dude, where did all the dealerships go?

nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
One thing that seems certain to happen whether or not the domestics get their bailout is that we will lose a lot of dealerships this year and next, and almost all will be domestic dealers. Indeed, this seems to be almost fortuitous for all three U.S. automakers, who need so desperately for their dealer networks to shrink.

On the news tonight, they announced that here in California in October alone, 70 new car dealerships went out of business. That makes 97 for the year through October 31 in California. The latest here in the Bay Area was San Francisco Chrysler Dodge Jeep, which went belly up today. I bet the count for California is over 100 by now.

But it's certainly not limited to California. A quick Google search gets you hundreds of hits of news reports on dealerships closing all over the country. Here are just a couple....

Midlothian (Illinois?): http://www.suntimes.com/business/1286854,111908sunrise.article

Leonardtown, MD: http://www.newsweek.com/id/165378

And of course, the famous Bill Heard Chevrolet: http://jalopnik.com/5056225/exclusive-inside-the-fall-of-bill-heard-chevrolet-th- - - - - e-worlds-largest-chevy-dealership

NADA is initially estimating that some 700 will close this year, which would be 50% higher than last year, yet still seems to be underestimating the loss. Some think it might be much much higher...

Michael Jackson, CEO of the nation's largest dealer group, AutoNation Inc., estimates nearly 1,000 stores will close this year with another 1,000 closing in 2009.

Mark Rikess, an automotive retail consultant and analyst believes the industry will lose close to 2,500 dealerships by the end of 2009.

A study by Grant Thornton LLP Corporate Advisory and Restructuring Services concludes nearly 3,800 stores will have to close just for dealerships to maintain the industry's 2007 average of selling 750 units per dealership in 2009.

Some dealers tell Ward's they think nearly 8,000 dealerships could be wiped out. Watching that many dealerships disappear is unlikely, but the fact some dealers are thinking it describes the uncertainty many of them have regarding their survival.

http://wardsdealer.com/ar/auto_dying_dealerships/

So the question I have is whether this was ultimately inevitable, given that the ones closing up shop are almost exclusively domestic brands. GM has 7000 dealers and a market share of 22%. Toyota has 1200 dealers and a market share of what, high teens? Toyota has always said publicly that one of the keys to the strong health of its dealer body was the high per-store sales rate, and that it takes great pains not to allow stores to be too close together or infringe on each other.

Is this wave of dealership failures a favor in disguise for the domestic automakers? Or should these dealers be getting a taste of all this bailout money floating around? There were 20,700 dealers in this country at the start of the year, according to NADA. There may be 2000-4000 less by the end of 2009. Or perhaps we could lose even more than 4000. Should something be done, can something be done? Or do we sit back and let free market principles do their job, and add thousands and thousands of people to the unemployment rolls? What do you think?

2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

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Comments

  • carthellcarthell Member Posts: 130
    "Is this wave of dealership failures a favor in disguise for the domestic automakers? Or should these dealers be getting a taste of all this bailout money floating around?"

    Maxine Waters is pushing for dealer financing support if the big 2.8 get a credit line from the government. If passed (that's extremely iffy), that won't help the domestics (don't throttle me for using the term) rightsize themselves into companies that can compete in the US market.

    I do not like unemployment. I spent most of my 20s out of work, and without health benefits. But what is happening with the domestics now was written a long time ago (you can boost sales using passenger trucks, fleet sales and rebates for only so long).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    I think if they do wind up finding government-backed financing for dealers, that should stem the tide of the ones going out of business, but I wonder how appropriate that would be.

    I have been in towns with populations as small as 1000 that have their own Chevy and Ford dealer. In many cases, those towns are within 40 miles of a city with a population over 100,000, which has its own dealers, both domestic and import. What can really be the future of these tiny-town dealers?

    OTOH, if as one is led to believe the service and used car sales are the main profit engines for dealerships, then I guess their future may yet be bright. People will always need service for their vehicles, and used car sales are much less dependent on captive financing from the manufacturers.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,876
    but we're about to lose our local Saturn dealer. I've never really had any dealings to them, other than delivering a pizza to them once or twice back in the day, and dropping by once with my Dad when he was car shopping. But they always seemed cool.

    I don't know what the details are, but the land under the dealership has been sold, so they're bailing out.

    Edit....Wow, it happened quicker than I thought. I went to their website and see that they're already closed! http://www.saturnofbowie.com/

    There's also a Chevy dealer behind them, and a Toyota dealer next door. Last time I was at the Chevy dealer was a few years ago when I had to get a power window switch for my truck. They were so dead that the $41.40 I spent on that switch was probably the most profit they made all day! :sick:

    I don't know the Chevy dealer's story, but I wonder if the Toyota dealer is expanding?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    The funny thing in my area is that every time a domestic dealer goes out of business, the neighboring Toyota dealer expands into the space.

    The dealers I have been seeing going under are mostly Chevy, Ford, Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge, and Pontiac-Buick-GMC. I would have thought the Saturn dealers would have gone already that were going to go, back when they had no product to sell....

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,261
    ...I was just up at my Cadillac dealership for an oil change and inspection/emmissions and more normally upbeat service advisor was quiet and reserved. I'm sure he's concerned about his job and the future of his workplace. This is the human face of the crisis the automakers are facing.
  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    What can really be the future of these tiny-town dealers?

    I think more of them will survive than you might expect. A car dealership can be run with no more than maybe half a dozen people on staff, and most of those small dealers don't have any debt to carry. The local Chevy dealer (where I bought the S2000) is more of a used-car dealership these days. They have a Prius on the main line in front of the building today.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    I don't know if this gets filed under domestic vs. import or high end vs. low end.

    Our local Caddy dealership has closed after maybe 30 years. They are still in business but only sell Chevrolets in their new car department. Meanwhile, down the road maybe a mile a new Hyundai dealership will be opening.

    Up the road at the nearest big town the Chrysler dealership is gone. The Mitsubishi dealer has been gone for a while but that's been tried at least twice in the area and just never supported enough business even in the good times.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    Still I would think that if the tiny-town dealer was within a 50-mile radius of a larger town with one or more large dealerships, their future is dim....and that describes most small-town dealers in California. I realize it is different in other parts of the country.

    Should those dealers that are struggling get a piece of the bailout pie?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    Two Lincoln/Mercury dealers folded, but Landmark Ford picked up the two marques without skipping a beat. Consolidation of local dealers will happen where the surviving dealer has the financial reserves to take advantage of the economy.

    When a business doesn't plan for a downturn, it deserves to be swallowed up.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,971
    In my area the Caddy dealer changed hands and moved from its location of some 35 years - I think it was leased land, now in demand for high density residential use (once the recession ends). Now they share a location with the Hummer dealer, which I think is under the same ownership. So, we have GM's best and GM's lamest in one spot.

    The other local dealers seem to be surviving in their locations. There are small startup highline used car dealers that seem to appear and fail every year or two.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    Yes, I'm sure that consolidation of dealerships will continue for domestic brand dealers, and in fact my local Ford dealer picked up L/M this past year from a dealership that closed a few miles up the road.

    But I think the big news is outright dealer atttrition, and certainly that is mostly what we have had in the Bay Area - dealers going away and NOT being picked up by a different dealer elsewhere.

    In California Big 2 market share is only like 22% between the both of them, so it makes sense that there shouldn't be 3 Chevy and 3 Ford dealers for every Toyota dealer.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • joel0622joel0622 Member Posts: 3,299
    Keep in mind that at least in Fords case that the closing of Dealerships is part of the Way Forward plan. Reduce the number of Dealerships over the next 5 years so we have more profitable stores. Allot of these stores that you see "closing" have actually been bought out.

    It has happened here, one Metro point closed in the spring. Ford and the surrounding Metro Points participated in the buy out. The closer your store was to the closing point the more you paid.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    Well the two Ford dealers near me that went out of business in the last few months disappeared in the middle of the night and made quite a splash in the news, as their owners went bankrupt in spectacular fashion and were very vocal about it. Neither was bought out. And now there is an urban area of a quarter million people without a Ford dealer, as the two were in neighboring suburban cities. But the folks living there wouldn't have to drive more than about 20 miles today to reach a Ford dealer, so it may have been a case previously of too many dealers, too close together.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    I'm almost ready to get a pool going as to which is the next dealership in town to fold. So far we only had the one and it only closed the Cadillac franchise and is still selling Chevies but to me the writing is on the wall.

    My money would be on the Chrysler dealership. He's got Chrysler and Dodge which leaves him with nothing new of interest to me. He does have a fair number of used cars but they are overwhelmingly Chrysler products as well.

    The other dealers in town are a Pontiac-Buick-GMC and a big "family of dealerships" that sells Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Jeep, Suzuki, Nissan and Honda. Maybe at one point he'll replace the Suzuki dealership with something else but he does seem to sell enough of the things.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,876
    I searched for how many dealerships there are in my area. Within a 25 mile radius, there are 21 dealerships that sell Chevy. 19 that sell Ford, 18 that sell Toyota, and 16 that sell Dodge.

    Oh, and 8 Saturn dealers. Well, 7, as the finder included the now-closed Saturn of Bowie.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    Wow. I live in a county of half a million people and I'll bet we don't have anywhere near that number. Now I'll have to check...
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    I'm intrigued that you have a Honda dealer (and most other brands) but no Toyota dealer? That's surprising.

    andre: you sure about those numbers? That sounds awfully high. A 25-mile radius is an area of 1962 square miles, or roughly 40x50. And as a for instance, I would be VERY surprised if Toyota allowed an area that size to have more than 10-12 dealers, even if it were very densely populated.

    There is only one Cadillac dealership in my county, which also sells about five other brands including Hummer and Hyundai. They WERE making big plans last year for a major expansion of teh Hyundai portion, but those seem to have fizzled out. They are still selling the Hyundais out of a shack on wheels out past the end of the lot for the other brands. it's no wonder they don't sell very many - Hyundai is obviously the redheaded stepchild over there!

    In the next county over, all of the Buick and GMC dealers have gone in the last 2 years, although one of those dealers continues to sell Cadillac and Mazda and appears to have very recently picked up Pontiac. How about THAT for a mix? Pontiac-Mazda-Cadillac.

    I think I would rather see bailout money for these dealerships than for the automakers: half of these dealerships are small family businesses and all of them provide other services that they could continue in order to be viable (especially service and repair including manufacturer warranty work). These are local businesses that impact my friends and neighbors and are being strained through no fault of their own.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    I've wondered about that myself. Maybe Toyota thinks that 20 miles north is close enough which I suppose it is. The dealership is very big. I would think a Toyota dealer in town would do a heck of a business. I've been thinking that for maybe 20 years....

    Just for the heck of it I checked and there are two Ford dealers within 25 miles of me. If you expand it to 28 miles you get three more including one that's just Lincoln Mercury.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,876
    andre: you sure about those numbers? That sounds awfully high.

    Well, that's what the internet said, and it wouldn't lie, would it? :P One thing though, the way these mapping things work, it's 25 miles as the crow flies. For instance, it plotted the dealership I bought my Intrepid from at around 12 miles away. It's more like 16-17. So I'd say that some of these places that the mapping features thought were only 25 miles could really be more like 30 or even 35 to drive them.

    Still, a 25 mile radius from my zipcode, 20769, basically encompasses my whole county. Also everything within the Washington DC Beltway, which includes parts of Virginia. About half of Baltimore also fell into that swoop. Going into southern Maryland, it just swallows up Waldorf, which I think is the biggest town down there. And going east, it just reaches across the Chesapeake Bay. So I'd imagine there's about 2 million residents, if not more, within the boundaries of that radius.

    Also, some of them are paired up. For instance, the dealer I bought my Intrepid from also sells Chevies. Interestingly, just a few years ago, a disproportionate amount of their business was Dodge. So now with Chrysler's fallout, I wonder how they're faring?
  • carthellcarthell Member Posts: 130
    Well, when you live in the megalopolis known as Baltimore-DC-NoVa, there's a lot of people with money that have to be served. Government money. Private research and tech money. Health care money. To a lesser extent, manufacturing, water-dock and transport money.

    Even so, there were (in the Baltimore area) four long-standing, new-car dealerships or dealership chains went bust over the past three years. No new Ford/Lincoln/Mercury, Kia, VW, or Suzuki products can be bought in the city. If you're a young 'un in the city who wants a new car, the bus can be taken to the local Toyota (1) or Chevy/Pontiac/Buick/Honda (1) dealer.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • jspagna1jspagna1 Member Posts: 34
    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 Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    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.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    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.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    This one is Long Beach (maybe the same place?).

    image

    Imported vehicles piling up at ports of entry
  • jchan2jchan2 Member 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 AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    Everything imported sits in those lots for a few days, they have to clear customs or something.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    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.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    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 Member Posts: 2,747
    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 CTMember Posts: 17,456
    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.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    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 AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    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 Member Posts: 2,747
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 2,747
    "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 Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,261
    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 Member 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 AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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....

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    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 Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    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.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    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 Guest Posts: 52,454
    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.
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    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 Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    I hear you but they certainly are trying. Ford is practically giving Fusions away.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    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 Member Posts: 24,876
    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 AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    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.....

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

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