Chicago area GM dealers wonder about future

April 27, 2009 4:37:23 PM PDT
General Motors announced a massive restructuring plan to try and save that car company on Monday.One of those moves includes cutting the Pontiac brand. The Pontiac was first introduced in 1926.

Now Chicago area dealers wonder how much longer they will be in business.

They are still going about their business on Monday afternoon at Roseland Pontiac. But they have lots of questions and no answers about how much longer they'll be in business. Now that General Motors has officially decided to discontinue the Pontiac brand they will soon have nothing to sell here.

"I've been in this business all my life and I don't know anything else," said Jerry Zegley, owner, Roseland Auto Sales.

Jerry Zegley's family has owned the Roseland Auto Sales business for 98 years and for the last 76 have sold nothing but Pontiacs. Three generations of the family have kept the business going through Roseland's hey day when they were one of thirteen car dealerships in the neighborhood until now when they are the only one left. And despite the difficult economy the dealership has survived better than most.

"We worked hard to keep it going over the years and even now we're probably one of the few dealers that's operating in the black. We're not in the red and I'd probably say 75 percent to 80 percent of the G.M. dealerships out there are in the red," said Ken Andrysk, G.M. Roseland Auto Sales.

They learned of G.M.'s decision to drop the Pontiac brand from a television news report. After nearly eight decades of loyalty to the Pontiac brand... They have no idea what their future might hold. No one from the company has contacted them yet. Their customers are equally concerned.

"I was shocked. I always loved Pontiac," said Henry Collins, Pontiac owner.

The owners say they are committed to keeping the business open in Roseland. They could try to approach General Motors about licensing them to sell a different brand. But it may be difficult. These are tough times to try to establish a new business, especially in the auto industry.


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