Local Dealers Prepare for Possible GM Bankruptcy

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - With General Motors teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, many of their dealers here in Columbus don't know what the next few months will bring.

Unfortunately, there really isn't that much they can do, since no one really knows how the bankruptcy will be executed.

GM has several different options on the table, but it looks they will most likely split the company into two, creating a "Good GM" with brands like Chevrolet and Cadillac, and a "Bad GM" with brands like Hummer and Saturn.

While the company dukes it out in court, local dealers like Legacy Chevrolet's Emanuel Jones say there really will be no big changes for their customers.

"I don't expect any effect at my level.I'm going to continue to do business as normal, selling the enormous amount of inventory we have on the lot, as well as the parts that we have to continue servicing vehicles. What made the dealership strong in Columbus is the two bookends, Cadillac and Chevrolet, and those aren't going anywhere," said Jones.

The dealers are independent from GM, and they will continue to operate, selling new cars and servicing the customers they already have.

Some are worried that people won't buy while GM is in bankruptcy, Jones says he actually expects business to boom, not bust.

"They've come out with new incentives to help manufacturers move metal on the lot. I expect business to increase through this period, because the public will recognize that this is the best time to buy. Maybe we should have a bankruptcy sale!" said Jones.

New car sales have already risen slightly over the past few months because of those incentives offered by GMAC, the financing arm of GM.

It includes extras like price guarantees and payment protection.

It will be several more weeks before any definitive decision is made in terms of a bankruptcy.

Dealers are hoping someone can come up with a "Hail Mary" plan before then.