Friday, May 15, 2009

Closing Dealerships

From a cold hearted business perspective, Chrysler and GM need to thin out the ranks of their new car dealerships. Ford, will probably have to do the same at some point. But that doesn't make it pointless. Each new car dealerships directly employ dozens of people, provide large chunks of sales tax revenue and often are contributors to the local community through sponsorship of little league teams and other community efforts.

Communities will suffer too. The Chicago Automobile Trade Association says the average local dealership employs about 50 people and delivers $1.5 million in annual sales tax revenue to the state.

Some of my first jobs were working at a couple of car dealerships in Downers Grove, Bill Madden Ford for a month in high school and then Jerry Borg Pontiac/GMC/Nissan for several summers and school breaks during college. I met some good people (and some jerks) and had many a good time in those jobs. I've got a handful of stories that I still tell nearly 20 years later. I learned a fair amount about how cars work and how the industry is run too.



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