Local GM Dealers Carve out New Future

Some local GM dealerships are will crossing their fingers and hoping for brighter days ahead in the wake of GM's declaring bankruptcy Monday.

The General Motors dealerships that do survive are expected to be stronger. Two dealerships have already closed in San Diego, but nearly 40 GM franchises are still operating around the county, according to KPBS.

At the Marvin K. Brown dealership in Mission Valley, which made the cut, the bankruptcy may be have a silver lining. President and CEO David Grundstrum said the GM product has never been better. The Mission Valley business is reassuring customers that warranties will be guaranteed by the government.

Consumer confidence is what needs to be addressed now. San Diego State finance professor Dan Seiver said General Motors needs to focus on making cars that consumers want at a reasonable price while still turning a profit.

"Bankruptcy is not the stigma that it was even 10 years ago," Seiver said. "I mean, all the airlines have been bankrupt at least once, and there have been a number of them that have been serially bankrupt."

"If I were looking for a car right now, I think there would be some real bargains on GM lots," Seiver added.

Grundstrum said it's business as usual at Marvin K. Brown. For him, the most difficult element of what has happened has been watching his friends' dealerships get shut down.

"That's the hardest part of it for me as a local dealer: to see some of my friends' businesses go away," Grundstrum said. "But, unfortunately, that's what needs to be done. There are too many dealers for the amount of business right now."

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