As the big three automakers struggle to survive and unsold vehicles keep piling up on car lots, local dealerships wonder how long they will be able to ride things out.
As General Motors and Chrysler dealerships across the country plan for cutbacks and restructuring, the General Manager of Hoover Chrysler Dodge in Summerville, Keith Roberts, does not blame the motor companies.
“The banks are what causing the problems right now. When the government first gave the $350 million of the tarp money to the banks, I think the banks didn’t do what they were suppose to do. The government didn’t put any restrictions on what these banks could do, so the money never funneled down to where it need to go, and that’s to the consumer,” says Roberts.
And the way it looks, the consumer may be better off right now. Chrysler plans on cutting 3,000 more jobs and stopping production on three vehicle models: PT Cruiser, Dodge Durango, and Dodge Aspen. The company wants nine billion more dollars in new loans on top of the four billion granted to them in December. Roberts says this need for money may be a struggle, but one of his biggest concerns is getting the unsold cars off the lot.
“Well, they sit on the lot, they don’t go anywhere,” says Roberts.
Chrysler, GM and Ford have reached an agreement with the Union Auto Workers on contract changes and concessions —as they were outlined in the government bailout.