Local Dealers on Bailout

Nov. 19, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ga(WXTX)-The bailout talks turned flat out ugly at some points today as lawmakers on Capitol Hill continued to question the leaders of GM, Ford and Chrysler.

While Congress decides if and how they should lend $25 billion to the companies, we talked with local dealers about the potential impact.

"Every American I think has had some impact from the slowdown in the economy," says Rivertown Ford General Sales Manager Brad Williams.

For many dealerships, like Rivertown Ford, that's come in the form of fewer sales, and lately, tighter financing for potential buyers.

Williams says overall, while Ford Motor Company's future is certainly critical to theirs, an immediate bailout or bankruptcy doesn't make or break Rivertown Ford.

"If they get this money and they get the loan approved tomorrow, are things gonna change here, I don't think so, we'll continue doing business like we always have," says Williams.

What's more important for local dealerships Williams says, "It's really dependent upon the dealer to use his financial strength to be able to take care of the local consumer."

Local dealer Carl Gregory says he doesn't support a bailout for the automakers.

Gregory says he believes the automotive industry as a whole has to reconfigure the way it does business on a national and dealership level.

He says he expects some type of change over the next few months, but in the end, Gregory says, "Only the strong will survive."