When I first heard of the economic troubles some of the major American automotive companies were having my first fear was the possibility of an America without those companies and their cars, each so vital to the American culture. Now, following the filing of bankruptcy of GM those fears are being realized.
Newspapers report GM is soon to be government owned, and will be reduced to just four companies (Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC). Also, dealerships all across the nation will not have their franchise agreements renewed for the next year affecting towns all across the U.S.
Again one of my first fears concerning GM’s troubles has been realized. The Hatfield Buick dealership of my hometown Redlands, CA will not have its agreement renewed after 100 years of selling cars. It joined Buick in 1913 after Hatfield had been selling cars since 1909. It’s the oldest Buick dealer in the U.S., probably the world.
Currently owned by the original Hatfield’s grandson, the dealership is trying to petition to GM for the renewal of the contract and the continued life of an important center to the city’s heritage and culture. If this fight is lost it will not only mean the loss of a place to buy a car and the cars themselves, but the city of Redlands (with its people) will lose a piece of itself.
For more information visit these links and savehatfieldbuick.com (to show your support).