Local Auto Dealer Says Car Sellers Will Survive

by Gabe Bullard on May 15, 2009

A local General Motors and Chrysler dealer says he and his fellow car sellers will persevere, even those who are losing their franchises with the automakers.

This week GM and Chrysler told hundreds of dealerships that they can no longer be official franchisees. Among the Chrysler dealerships on the list was Coyle Dodge in New Albany.

Chris Coyle is general manager of Coyle Dodge as well as Coyle Chevrolet. He says he hasn’t heard from GM about his franchise, but he says losing the relationship with automakers does not mean an end to the dealership.

“I’ve got faith in a lot of these guys out here that at the end of the day they’ll re-emerge,” he says. “They may not re-emerge with a franchise but there is an auto industry outside of Chrysler and General Motors.”

Coyle says the recession could mean a $20 million drop in sales across both dealerships this year.That’s led to decreased ad buying and sponsorship for things like Little League teams.

“Instead of spending $55 to $60 thousand, $70 thousand a month in advertising we may spend $35 to $40 and really realize and do a better job of figuring out what works,” he says.

Coyle Chrysler was among the 800 dealerships to lose its franchise with the automaker this week. General Motors will be ending its relationship with 11 hundred dealerships.

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