Pittsfield dealer loses GM agreement
Fri, 22 May 2009 13:47:39 GMT —
"Where is this going to help General Motors? It cannot possibly help the manufacturer."
Randy Zimmerman says it's not fair. The president of Zimmerman Brothers told me he feels betrayed by GM after his family has been a loyal business partner for 94 years.
"The small dealers sell probably 10 to 20% of the cars. You're going to give up 10 to 20% of your business in order to save a small administrative cost? It makes no sense," said Zimmerman.
Randy's grandfather built the building the dealership is currently housed in in 1914 and started the dealership the following year.
"We think we're the oldest Buick dealer. We may be the oldest Pontiac dealer," he said.
Randy and his brother are the 3rd set of brothers in the business. The family roots are so strong, he still uses the same desk his grandfather used. His grandfather's 1928 Buick Business Coupe sits in the showroom today.
Alexis: Do you feel rural dealers like yourself are getting the short end of the stick?
Zimmerman says,"I don't think there's any doubt about that. They have pretty well gutted the whole dealer rural body."
Zimmerman told me he's written a letter to GM and intends to keep fighting for his franchise. He says this business that means family and whose roots run deep into the community will stay open and operate as always.
"We're going to be here for the long haul."
Zimmerman says there is a chance that GM could renew its contract, but he and his employees will have to wait and see. He told us if GM does not renew the dealership's contract, Zimmerman Brothers will become a used car dealer and could still get by with its body shop business.
Heaton Chevrolet in Pittsfield and Knipmeyer Chevrolet in Beardstown also received a letter from GM.