Tulsa Dealers Optimistic About GM Bankruptcy

Monday, June 1st 2009, 6:34 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Many of the larger General Motors dealerships in Tulsa are optimistic that the bankruptcy for the auto giant will mean a leaner and much improved company.  While the reorganization will impact manufacturing plants, dealerships and jobs, they're confident the company will emerge stronger and more competitive.

Tom Bloomfield is the general manager at Don Thornton Cadillac in Tulsa.  Like everyone in the industry, he's been watching the new developments of GM's bankruptcy closely.

"I think the biggest encouraging news we received last week was when everyone agreed.  The bondholders agreed, the labor agreed, so that they can get in and out of the process very quickly," said Tom Bloomfield with Thornton Cadillac.

Bloomfield says that was important so the auto giant can have uninterrupted delivery of cars and parts to dealers.

"I think that's the key to all of our success is for them to produce that product and get it to the dealer," said Tom Bloomfield with Thornton Cadillac.

General Motors has filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a plan to shrink the automaker to a sustainable size.  GM will emerge as a leaner company with a smaller work force, fewer plants and a trimmed dealership network.

"That was the whole intention of this is just to get them where they can be competitive," said Tom Bloomfield with Thornton Cadillac.

The News On 6 also spoke with Jim Glover, who is also the president of the Tulsa Chevy Dealers Association.  He says the bankruptcy for the struggling auto giant was needed.

Glover says GM will benefit from wage concessions from labor which will enable it to be more competitive with foreign automakers.  He says GM now has tremendous upside.    

The company will move forward with four core brands:  Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

"They are world class vehicles.  And, they can stand up next to anything that anyone builds in the country or the world and that's the stuff that hopefully we can expect from them in the future.  More like that," said Tom Bloomfield with Thornton Cadillac.

GM plans to reduce the number of its dealers by 2,600 by next year.  It's still not clear what Oklahoma dealerships will be affected.  Manufacturer's warranties will still be honored at remaining dealerships.