Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Letter from a Dodge Dealer


May 19, 2009

letter to the editor

My name is George C. Joseph. I am the sole owner of Sunshine Dodge-Isuzu, a family owned and operated business in Melbourne, Florida. My family bought and paid for this automobile franchise 35 years ago in 1974. I am the second generation to manage this business.

We currently employ 50+ people and before the economic slowdown we employed over 70 local people. We are active in the community and the local chamber of commerce. We deal with several dozen local vendors on a day to day basis and many more during a month. All depend on our business for part of their livelihood. We are financially strong with great respect in the market place and community. We have strong local presence and stability.

I work every day the store is open, nine to ten hours a day. I know most of our customers and all our employees. Sunshine Dodge is my life.

On Thursday, May 14, 2009 I was notified that my Dodge franchise, that we purchased, will be taken away from my family on June 9, 2009 without compensation and given to another dealer at no cost to them. My new vehicle inventory consists of 125 vehicles with a financed balance of 3 million dollars. This inventory becomes impossible to sell with no factory incentives beyond June 9, 2009. Without the Dodge franchise we can no longer sell a new Dodge as "new," nor will we be able to do any warranty service work. Additionally, my Dodge parts inventory, (approximately $300,000.) is virtually worthless without the ability to perform warranty service. There is no offer from Chrysler to buy back the vehicles or parts inventory.

Our facility was recently totally renovated at Chrysler’s insistence, incurring a multi-million dollar debt in the form of a mortgage at Sun Trust Bank.

HOW IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CAN THIS HAPPEN?

THIS IS A PRIVATE BUSINESS NOT A GOVERNMENT ENTITY

This is beyond imagination! My business is being stolen from me through NO FAULT OF OUR OWN. We did NOTHING wrong.

This atrocity will most likely force my family into bankruptcy. This will also cause our 50+ employees to be unemployed. How will they provide for their families? This is a total economic disaster.

HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN IN A FREE MARKET ECONOMY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?

I beseech your help, and look forward to your reply. Thank you.

Sincerely,

George C. Joseph
President & Owner
Sunshine Dodge-Isuzu

52 comments:

  1. Dear george. Why do not you file for bankrupcy
    (the Company of course)? before Chrysler take it over.! Let Sun Trust to own the cars as they are holding forclosed homes. You need to run off troubles so go ahead of them. The only big
    disgrace is the higher levels of unemployment
    which is innevitable in such situations. As the next bubble is soon to explode "Commercial Real Estate", let them get the building too, you come clean off hands but also problems shaken away. Stick on your parts inventory, they are Gold, and open a garage specializing in DODGE REPAIRS, or who
    is going to repair the circulating cars that
    were bought in the five last years? if owners
    will have to drive them to who knows how many miles to the nearest dealership? The thief who robs a thief has one hundred years of pardon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. this is the CHANGE that Obama Promised...look out America..

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm tired of reading about people complaining saying they have done nothing wrong! Hello! Check out the MANY warning signs all around you and get out while the getting out is good. Obviously you do NOT drop millions into renevation at this point in time.

    People need to stop making stupid decisions and think for THEMSELVES.

    I feel bad for people I really do, but as one who has heeded the signs and taken steps to get out how bad can I feel? It's blatantly obvious we are going to crash at some point in time no matter how many government stooges tell us otherwise.

    God I hope I'm not the only one who feels like this haha.

    ReplyDelete
  4. George,Your story is the most sobering to date. You are not ALONE in your outrage and confusion. The injustice served up to you will be known by many. God bless you and your employees.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous #3, I am in agreement. Of course a lot of people have had their heads buried in the sand leading up to this point and/or have been led astray by the vapid media that continues to feed us a steady diet of cotton candy reality. For those who have not had the better sense to take precautions, good luck. When the hammer falls get out of the way.

    Still, anonymous #1 offers some pretty good advice. With so many dealerships being closed down and probably more in the future, having a Dodge, Isuzu, etc specialized repair shop is not a bad idea and some of the well-skilled employees can be retained in the process.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My mom grew up in Romania. She had Stalin and the butthole Marx hanging off red curtains all over the town. Goosestepping morons (like that Anon fool at 9:47) with machine guns and all they did was intimidate, steal, kill. That is what Obama and him million thug "army" of "volunteers" want to do to you. How dare anyone blame the victim here, these banks in cahoots with Congress to ruin us are completely criminal. Obama has NO authority, right, or business taking over private companies and esp taking private business owners company away when they weren't even in arrears. Let's see who gets his stolen company, a realtion fo one of the traitor "politicians". I was wrong when I ever said they where anything but slime. That is all those monsters are and ever will be. People, if you don't fight now, welcome to Orwell's 1984, it's one or two more steps away.

    ReplyDelete
  7. George W Bush and his dimwit US Labor Secretary Elaine Chao missed their jobs creation target for 8 years. I spent 8 years, every month, online at the MSNBC website, for one, calling them two of the biggest liars in US history when the monthly jobs report was released. The other bloggers there with me pointed out that no good jobs in the US, no one to purchase homes or cars.

    In the US, it takes the creation of 100K-130K new jobs created PER MONTH just to absorb new graduates into the workforce. Bush and Chao proved that Republican tax cuts do not work to create jobs. The labor pool in India and China is way too large. The new 2009 graduates face a job market flooded by Bush and Chao's failures.

    In the past, I've encouraged people to put their bills on Elaine Chao's desk, and bury her desk. George can do that by routing his bills TO Elaine Chao THROUGH Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), her husband. Make certain Republicans are walking the same side of the street your family is walking.

    ReplyDelete
  8. feel very bad for this guy, very bad...

    we are moving into a lawlessness in this country I am truely afraid of, and I am an immigrant to this country, so yes, I have seen this elsewhere...

    at least with Bush, the press was on him all the time, with Obama, we have our first marxist.. with the press being a public relations firm for him...

    many people have buried their heads with all this hope and change crap... the policies enacted in CA are exactly the policies being promoted and enacted in DC... and those results will NOT be good!

    CA will turn into the next Detroit...
    America will turn into the next CA...

    very very sad... Obamanomics... "the coming depression"

    ReplyDelete
  9. Calling Obama a Marxist is just knee jerk drivel-- This is clasic Fascism, Mussolini 101 The Fusion of the State and Corporate Imperitives. When human beings are simply another raw material to be exploited in the creation profit and consumption. War is their primary commercial activity.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Obama couldn't have been more helpful to the banksters who created this poor man's nightmare; clearly there are different standards for different industries, where Obama is concerned. Not that I'm differentiating Obama from Bush, since there isn't much difference, except Obama's ability for smooth talking.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds to me like Sun Trust Bank has got themselves a commercial real estate problem!

    How many other dealers are in the same boat?

    Buying new cars every few years is a tremendous ripoff anyway, and should be stopped. This is one way to do that.

    UPSIDE DOWN ON THE LOAN anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi George-

    It seems that your family taught you good basic American values including that if you work hard and you will receive rewards. You were living the American dream and then SLAM. It's over and now the nightmare begins.

    Ignore those who blame you or blame Obama or who blame Bush. No party or individual is responsible for what happened. We ALL are responsible becuase we failed to heed our Founding Fathers' advice and we allowed our non-representing representatives take us down this road and here we are, watching our constitutional republic go dwon the toilet.

    We can take back our contry if WE the People are willing to do as our forefathers did. The same thing happened to them, George, as has and is happening to you. How did they resolve the problem?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Don't get me wrong, I think your situation sucks. However, you should have known what the potential ramifications are of owning a franchise and sold that devaluing piece of crap the minute the U.S Auto Manufacturing business started to take a nose dive.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Being that nearly all places of social interaction in the USA are paved with ashpalt passageways leading somewhere, we are predominantly what you might call an Automobile Nation, intoxicated with expectations of convenience, luxury, and instant access. Cheap energy has lead us to the belief that the sky is the limit on what can be built or acheived through the American Dream. Sadly, or not, the dream is starting to crumble away. Next is the sobering reality that there are ramifications to creating a life built around an unsustainable dream world incorporating the automoble and suburban sprawl, or equating economic health to endless growth.
    I suspect these are the kind of first steps we will see towards de-coupling from those notions. A painful but necessary change either way you look at it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. GThis is the George Bush Legacy!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Bankruptcy voids all contracts. Chrysler is able to screw your business (you) because of their bankruptcy.

    Create an new company (an LLC) and transfer (sell) the Isuzu franchise to the new company. Transfer as much of the debt to your old (Chrysler) company and have this company file for bankruptcy. eBay the Chrysler vehicles and parts. Sell the Isuzu dealership FAST because the worst has not even started. Take the money move to Brazil, convert the money into Gold. Wait 6 to 8 years and come back to the U.S., buy up 50 dealerships that sell cars from China and India.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Brazil sounds great. Take me. Life outside the Empire.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am curious... what real, tangible businesses do all you hard asses own ?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I dont know if I am one of the hard asses the previous poster is talking about, but to answer his question:

    Property Management --My partners and I own and operate 1410 total units in 33 complexes, everything from upscale townhouses to subsidized one and two bed room apartments.

    When I say "OWN and operate" that means we owe no one anything but a well maintained housing for ON TIME RENT, PROPER SOCIAL BEHAVIOR, NO HOT CHECKS, AND LIVING IN THEM LIKE A HUMAN INSTEAD OF A PIG.

    That may sound hardassed, and if it does, then so be it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. If you believe you OWN anything in the United States you do not understand the Legal History or monetary system of the US.

    I posted the May 20, 2009 4:29 PM posting.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is not either Communism or Fascism - it is both. America is coming under Communitarian control, see Niki Raapana.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Good advice, though I would never advise anyone to buy up 50 auto dealerships! Not with the volatility of energy prices. There may come a time when every american is hoofing it or taking public trasportation on most days. We will not be driving cars forever.

    ReplyDelete
  23. You are right. We are assets of a major corporation only. Slaves of the state. Clandestine empire. First Empire where the people are so dumbed down and brainwashed they don't even know they are living within an Empire. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Blame this crap on the US congress and Alan Greenspan. Had that A@@hole not pushed to allow the bucket houses and lower restrictions on Wall Street back in 2000 we would never be in this mess. This jackass thought that wall street would look out for itself. What an idiot. His ego and power caused this.He should be in jail along with the dimwit congress of 2000 and Barney Frank who have unwittingly screwed the American public. How many time SEC was told about Madlof? 5 times at least. I think that if you hold public office you should be sued for incompetence if you are asleep at the switch, but most public servants are in for themselves and do not give a flying rats ass about their constituents. Wishing bad Karma to Greenspan i have money on you on the death watch...

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am anonymous #1 and Post at 4:29 is explaining to you more clearly what I tried.
    Act fast as he is counseling, you won't lose
    everything! You read today's Wall Street Journal? maybe Chrysler will shed not some as
    yours but ALL Dealerships. When the river sounds,is carrying too much water. No need to go as far as Brazil, Mexico is closer enough to
    stablish a used car lot which you will import from the USA. They sell as hot baked bread
    and who better than you who really knows this business?

    ReplyDelete
  26. To : Anonymous ( Apartment Owner / property manager)

    From: Anonymous (hard ass) poster

    You obviously own a worthwhile business that helps people in thier lives- you provide housing! What I meant in my post was this: there sure seemed like there was a lot of posts condemming the Chyrsler dealer owner coming from a lot of schmucks that dont own a business or dont own shit but think they are no it alls... Perhaps these posters are people that have never even owned a business!Except in the dream world of business school perhaps... I happen to have a good deal of experience in property management so I know your troubles in dealing with renters from hell... AAH!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Damn those 'no-it-alls' for knowing so much

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for your further comments. Property Management is easy when you have experienced about all of it. First, you need the rents to pay your bills for everything that goes wrong. The secret is in getting the rents on time. Our policy is:

    1. Due on the first.
    2. Late on the sixth.
    3. Delinquent on the tenth.
    4. Renter is history on the eleventh.
    (we go to the renter on the sixth, and recommend they either pay the next day, or go to a retail or grocery store and pick up some empty boxes, because it seems they are going to need them.)

    What you don't do is let anything get started, you nip it in the bud poste haste.
    This is what your on site manager is authorized to do and what you pay him/her for.
    Much more to it, but I am sure this is enough to say or I would be accused of TMI--(too much information)!

    ReplyDelete
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