General Motors’ decision to phase out its Pontiac line and reduced sales due to the recession cost Jackson County an automobile dealership Friday. Cole Buick-Pontiac-GMC, located astride the Banks-Jackson line on Stephen B. Tanger Boulevard at Banks Crossing, closed its doors Friday. The company had 11 employees.
Owner Greg Cole said sales were down approximately 50 percent over the last nine months.
“I guess we made the decision over the last couple of weeks, especially after GM made the announcement it was going to discontinue the Pontiac brand in 2010,” said Cole. “That would have left us with Buick and GMC, that’s all. That’s probably the announcement that pushed us over the edge.”
The dealership sold 400-500 vehicles a year before the recession, according to Cole, who bought it three years ago. He also owns Chevrolet dealerships in Athens and Pocataligo, Idaho, which he said are also “struggling.”
The car lot was built on the Jackson-Banks line, but since the sales office was in Jackson County, for sales tax purposes it was considered a Jackson County business. It paid property taxes to both counties, Cole noted.
“We very much hate it for the employees, but we will continue to operate in Athens and we’ll continue to service the customers we sold here in Athens,” Cole said. “Any problems they have, we’ll take care of in the Athens store.”
05/15/09 at 03:53 PM
My condolences to all affected by layoffs but GM was teetering on bankruptcy before the recession and they are hiding behind it. The reason GM is bankrupt is the UAW's insane benefits. $2,000.00 from every car made went to the UAW union. They killed their own company.
You can not compete in the world market with this disadvantage.
The good news is there are many other cars being made here in the South. GM and the UAW are going the way of the dinosaur.
Maybe ,,just maybe if GM 's managment had not pushed the employees so hard then ,they would not have needed a UNION......by the way are the Unions responsible for all of the other plants (of any industry) closing down and moving to cheap labor......I rest my case...
05/16/09 at 08:46 PM
Good point Steve.
The unions were necessary 100 years ago, probably not now.
The unions for Honda, BMW don't have the legacy costs GM has. They have more retirees than workers sucking up money. GM pays for medical care for its retirees even when they qualify for Medicare.
And let's not forget where these cars are made. Detroit Michigan where taxes are very high. This is part of the reason car companies locate in the business-friendly South.
Why, if you are correct, is GM not able to compete with other car companies? Management? Could be part of the problem. I wouldn't buy any American car and never have. Appealing to my patriotism will not cause me to waste my money on a crappy car.
05/19/09 at 05:45 PM
Sorry to see Cole go away. They dealt fairly and weren't pushey.
I never thought it would happen, but I agree completely with Michael McCarthy. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. That is the quote that applies. I will continue to buy automobiles of quality no matter where they are built.