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Posted: 6/17/2009 5:51:24 PM EST
GM out of touch with reality, Meyer says

Kevin L. Zadina
Publisher

Bob Meyer, owner of Meyer Automotive, received notice that his contract with General Motors will be terminated in October 2010.

Meyer said GM has lost touch with reality and doesn't see a good way out of bankruptcy with some of its current ideas.

Meyer purchased the GM line when he bought Rolfsmeier Motors in Seward in July of 2006. He also owns the Ford franchise on Highway 15 and I-80 south of Seward and a Chrysler dealership in Crete.

"They are so out of touch with reality. And that's the problem. And I said that (to a GM representative) in the arbitration period," Meyer said.

This is a conversation Meyer had with the GM representative.

"I told them I'm a customer of GM and spent almost $10,000,000 buying your product in three years, cars, parts and signage. And you have not once have come and visited me. I'm a pretty good customer. I'm not the biggest and best, but I'm not too bad of a customer. And he (the GM rep) said 'that is just because we (GM) got too big,'" Meyer said. "There are a lot of big companies out there and I told him maybe you got to where you kind of slacked off and didn't care as much."

Meyer gave other examples of why GM is not going to save money by closing dealerships. He said customers will have to travel more and GM will have to pay more in warranty work.

"They talk about how this is going to save money by eliminating dealers. A rural dealer such as myself gets $17.10 less an hour on warranty work than our closest dealers in Lincoln. At 10 hours of warranty work a day that is $44,460 annually that GM is going to pay more in warranty work and I'm just a little guy. GM is going to pay that dealer $44,000 more to do warranty work a year than we would receive. With Redigers not having service in Seward County we are probably talking about $70,000-80,000 a year," Meyer said referring to GM customers who will have to get warranty work done in Lincoln.

Rediger Chevrolet announced in May the GM had terminated its contract.

Meyer said by the time you figure out what GM is going to pay in warranty work alone with the rural dealers being shut down the amount will be in the millions.

Meyer said GM needs to take a hard look at some of its business practices to solve its financial problems.

He gave an example from when he built the new GM building at his Highway 15 and I-80 Interchange location.

When building at the new location Meyer had to meet the requirements that Image Point, a consulting firm, set forth. For doing everything the way Image Point wanted it, Meyer Auto would receive a $16,000 stipend.

After everything was done the representative from Image Point told Meyer he started under the 2006 requirements, but his store meets all the 2008 requirements.

"I say what does that mean. She says that entitles you to a $50,000 stipend," Meyer said.

The last thing to be done however is his sign that is less than one year old and dealers lease from GM, has to be changed and Meyer will have to spend $10,000 to do this

Doug Rolfsmeier, general manager at Meyer Auto said the only difference in the signs is the new sign has black letters and old one had blue letters.

"Local people should know this. GM is throwing away $24,000 and $10,000 on a perfectly good sign that was less than a year old. And if GM wants to know why they are in financial problems that is one place to start looking," Meyer said referring to the difference between the $16,000 he was to receive the $50,000 for changing a sign.

Meyer said even now that the store is meeting all the 2008 standards, which is the most modern possible facility that GM could have, his franchise was still pulled by GM.

And the sign that was changed still doesn't work because the installer had to fix the sign after breaking the old sign and the new sign during installation. Then GM broke ties with Image Point and the sign installer was never paid and has never come back, according the Meyer.

GM may also want to actually service their dealers.

"Never in three years of building a new facility has a GM employee ever come and seen me. Ford is just the opposite. We have a representative from Ford on an average of least once a month. Where you actually see someone who comes in either service, sales or financing, who says to me is there anything from Ford we can do to make it better," Meyer said.

These are just a couple of examples of why GM got themselves into financial trouble, according to one rural car dealer.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 5:58:27 PM EST
the signage consulting firm

http://www.imagepoint.com/
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 6:04:07 PM EST
With Redigers not having service in Seward County we are probably talking about $70,000-80,000 a year," Meyer said referring to GM customers who will have to get warranty work done in Lincoln.


This assumes someone in his county will buy a car they have to drive to Lincoln to be serviced (or have towed to Lincoln if it won't run).

Sometime in the future I'll be in the market for a new car. I'd like to give Honda a look, but the nearest dealer is 25-30 miles away in the next county. No Honda for me.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 6:46:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By callgood:
With Redigers not having service in Seward County we are probably talking about $70,000-80,000 a year," Meyer said referring to GM customers who will have to get warranty work done in Lincoln.


This assumes someone in his county will buy a car they have to drive to Lincoln to be serviced (or have towed to Lincoln if it won't run).

Sometime in the future I'll be in the market for a new car. I'd like to give Honda a look, but the nearest dealer is 25-30 miles away in the next county. No Honda for me.


Honda or Toyota for me. I'll never buy a GM again, and I was a GM only buyer until 2 years ago. GM cars are pretty much crap compared to those two manufactures. Trucks, I'm stuck with Ford unless something better comes along.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 7:49:16 PM EST
Dealers chose who to tie their futures to. I was in three GM stores over eight years. None of these people are surprised. Two years ago, when these guys new this was coming, dealership groups were overpaying huge whenever anyone wanted to sell. Sorry, I'm out of pity.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 8:18:38 PM EST
The problem is that GM & Chrysler makes crappy cars, end of story. Warranty work is just an example of poor quality and workmanship.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 4:26:46 AM EST
DUH? Ya think?

I have been saying this for almost 30 years (since I was 15 and saw my father get screwed on two GM diesels that "blowed" up by 30k miles).

GM will not recover to any respectable level.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 4:55:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By 289Mustang:
Meyer gave other examples of why GM is not going to save money by closing dealerships. He said customers will have to travel more and GM will have to pay more in warranty work.


It's funny how Honda and Toyota are doing just fine with far fewer dealers than GM. Maybe customers will go out of their way and pay more for a quality product?
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 5:10:16 AM EST
This GM Bankruptcy is becoming surreal. An insolvent Company, but there's nothing anywhere they can cut to save money.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 5:13:32 AM EST
Originally Posted By Merrell:
the signage consulting firm

http://www.imagepoint.com/


Image Point closed up shop, they're no longer in business.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:48:06 AM EST
They must have some type of flooring, the local ex dealer told them to get their shit of his property.
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