Suburban Philadelphia GM dealer faces uncertain future

    A GM dealership in Montgomery County is expected to be one casualty of General Motors’ struggle to come out of bankruptcy a leaner, stronger company. Plans to phase out the Buick Pontiac GMC site in Limerick by 2011 could chip away at Fred Beans’ empire of more than 20 dealerships in the area.

    A GM dealership in Montgomery County, PA is expected to be one casualty of General Motors’ struggle to come out of bankruptcy a leaner, stronger company. Plans to phase out the Buick Pontiac GMC site in Limerick by 2011 could chip away at Fred Beans’ empire of more than 20 dealerships in the area.

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    Fred Beans is disappointed. He’s spent more than 30 years running area dealerships, including the one that’s slated to close. Beans says he could be in real financial trouble because it would be tough to sell the building.

    Beans: The building’s in an auto mall. These buildings are not very salable. They’re great buildings if you’re on the corner of say 611 and 313 for a CVS drugstore, but a dealership that’s in the middle of the road like most of em are, are not suitable for any other uses. So if you sit in the middle of an auto mall with a Buick Pontiac GMC store without a franchise, it’s worth nothing.

    Some of the automaker’s moves may not be easy, but Drexel University Economics professor Paul Jensen says GM needs to reduce the number of GM brands and dealerships if it hopes to return to profitability.

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