Local Economy Strong, Despite Auto Troubles

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The news in Detroit was not good Friday.

More than a thousand GM dealerships will be forced to hit the road by October, 2010.

"They were basic notifications of our current plans for the future of GM and essentially state that their dealership would not be part of those plans," said General Motors North America Vice President of Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing Mark LeNeve.

Fortunately, the impact locally may be minimal.

No GM dealerships in the area will fold completely.

Parts suppliers may feel the pinch, but luckily, Columbus Chamber of Commerce President Mike Gaymon says the area's automotive business should remain strong.

"If you've got too many eggs in one basket, and that basket turns over, you're going to feel it very deeply. We have diversified in our region for many years, so all of our eggs aren't in one basket," Gaymon said.

One reason why the Chattahoochee Valley could withstand a hit to dealerships or local automotive suppliers is because of that diversification.

Simply put, there's a wide range of industries in the area...enough to bear the brunt of one or two that could falter.

"Imagine what we'd be in this community if we had not diversified, if we still depended on the textile industry to be our major industry? In 1988 it was, it's not now," Gaymon said.