GM and Chrysler car dealers ask Congress for help staying open - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

GM and Chrysler car dealers ask Congress for help staying open

WASHINGTON. - In Washington Friday auto dealers faced off against the auto companies that are closing them down.

Congress wants to know whether the dealers are getting a fair shake and whether general motors and Chrysler are doing the right thing for long-term survival.

The automakers say they don't have a choice; the dealers say otherwise.

On Capitol Hill jilted auto dealers confronted the chiefs of General Motors and Chrysler.

They say the auto giants' decision to close them down just doesn't add up.

"In a period of twenty-four hours, my business was essentially taken from me with no real explanation other than that these are difficult times," said Frank Blankenbeckler, Owner of Carlisle Chevrolet Dealership.

"So, let's see you're worried about the 55,000 units but you're going to lose 140,000 units. No wonder you're in trouble with that kind of thinking. I just don't see the logic," said James Golick of Golick Motor Company.

Lawmakers are demanding answers

"I want to know why you're not taking care of people that spent 70 years selling your cars," said democratic congressman Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania.

G.M. CEO Fritz Henderson and Chrysler President Jim Press say their companies can't survive without cutting dealerships.

"The cost to Chrysler of an oversized dealer network includes both lost sales and excessive spending," said James Press, President of Chrysler.

"Our dealership consolidation is not just about saving money, but about creating opportunity and revenue growth," said General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson

That's little comfort for dealers like Alan Spitzer who's losing seven Ohio dealerships; his family name has been synonymous with Chrysler for decades.

"We didn't even receive termination it was on the web," said Alan Spitzer of Spitzer Automotive Group.

While many are going quietly some auto dealers are fighting on and asking congress for help.

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