Spencer dealer testifies about losing Chrysler, GM dealerships
Pete Lopez heads the Spencer Autio Group and owns both Chrysler and GM dealer franchises,
June 2, 2009 ·
Sen. Jay Rockefeller is conducting a hearing Wednesday in Washington, D.C. on the closure of thousands of Chrysler and GM dealerships across the country.
West Virginia is losing 17 of its 24 Chrysler dealers and an unknown number of GM dealers.
One dealer in Spencer has been hit with a double-whammy; he’s losing the rights to sell under both the GM and Chrysler names.
Pete Lopez is scheduled to speak at Rockefeller’s hearing. He said the closings don’t just hurt dealers; they hurt customers, especially those in rural areas.
“In West Virginia we’ve got an older community,” he said. “If they take my franchise, these people will have to drive an hour and a half to have their car serviced.
“It’s un-American what they’re doing. We’re here in Washington to fight. I’m here to fight for my livelihood,” he said.
Lopez loses his Chrysler dealership June 9, and GM is pulling out next October.
He now has 18 employees, but he’s afraid some of them will lose their jobs.
He says he looks forward to presenting his case today at Rockefeller’s hearing, in front of GM and Chrysler officials.
He’s also not happy with how the Obama Administration is handling the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies.
“I think that they have made some rash decisions. They made the manufacturers make some rash decisions,” he said.
“So we’re gonna try to see if we can get them to open their eyes and give us another look.”
Lopez is appealing GM’s decision, and is involved in a class-action lawsuit against Chrysler.
He’s facing losses of the vehicles left in stock unless another dealership can buy the inventory. He says he will continue selling new cars and work towards buying a new franchise.