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Some GM dealers fear breaks in franchise contracts

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  June 2, 2009 10:10 AM

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President Obama, on a television monitor, discussed automaker General Motor’s bankruptcy filing in New York yesterday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

After General Motors filed for a long overdue bankruptcy yesterday, Massachusetts dealers say they are worried about further closures and possible breaks in franchise contracts.

Brian Palmer, who owns Berkshire GMC in Sheffield and has been in business since his father started it in 1977, was doubtful over the company's plan to honor franchise contracts through the end of 2010, when his dealership is scheduled to close.

"I have a strong suspicion that [bankruptcy] may change the game," he said in today's Globe.

GM CEO Fritz Henderson said dealerships would not be closed earlier than expected. About 2,000 jobs will be lost in the Bay State, a number estimated from GM's earlier announcement of closing about 2,300 of its US dealers. The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association says about 40 of the 98 GM dealers in the state will be closed.

Read more about GM's debts to Boston-based creditors, the Obama plan of majority government ownership, and more analysis from the Globe's front-page story today.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee
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