Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Palin: Obama Closes Soldotna GM Dealership

I've been laying off of our governor since the election - there are plenty of other Alaskan bloggers who have fun with Sarah, and Lord knows, she gives them plenty of material.

And she just keeps on giving. I'll jump in because she mentions Soldotna in her most recent press release.

According to Governor Palin, "Today, we learned that Obama’s decisions continue to impact Alaskans; while we as taxpayers now own General Motors, Obama closes another dealership – this time in Soldotna as more of Alaskans’ hard-earned money and jobs are lost to big government."

I got to thinking. Didn't the Peninsula Clarion run a story about Hutchings GM just a few days ago? Yep, May 10 in fact. It seems the Governor's statement isn't quite accurate. While Hutchings lost its franchise, it isn't closing. The dealership did employ around 75 workers back in the fall, 10 days before today's statement, its workforce was down to 28.

GM has been having difficulty since way before Obama became president as their last profitable year was in 2004. Since then they have lost $82 billion dollars. Any company bleeding that much red ink might just cut back their workforce - especially those franchises that aren't as profitable as others. The auto industry has lost some 400,000 this past year - some of that was bound to trickle down to the Kenai.

So, despite Palin's rhetoric, the dealership isn't closing, and the local layoffs occurred because of financial difficulty GM has been having for 5 years. Layoffs are a natural part of what happens when there is a downturn in the economy or if a company like GM makes bad business decisions.

So just how is that Obama's fault?

The debate whether the US Government should be bailing out a business won't be addressed here - there are plenty of pundits who can provide you with that entertainment.

But if the US doesn't bail out GM, wouldn't that mean that the company would go bankrupt and close ALL of their dealerships? And is that a better choice? What would Sarah say then - that Obama's inactions continue to impact Alaskans?

If she had offered an alternative suggestion on what should be done, that would have been helpful, but of course she provided nothing of the sort. I've yet to hear any thanks to Obama from her as Alaska has accepted millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds to create jobs here.

The GM rescue is not strictly Democrat/Republican thing, here's a statement in support of GM's bailout from Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and maybe with a bit more understanding of the problem than Sarah. "We all recognize the role these companies play in the overall composition of our economy and we want them to succeed. It has become abundantly clear that in order to remain viable and competitive, these companies must re-organize, revamp and restructure."

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot. You need to research more before you post anything else about this matter. Because if you actually did the research you should have before you opened your mouth you would have realized that the past 5 years have been profitable. Hence the fact that they built a multi-million dollar facility known as the Auto Spa. Do you really think that someone who is having financial difficulty would be able to afford that building? Also the layoffs came after the bailout process started and AFTER GM and GMAC decided to stop paying their dealers the money that was owed to them. I suggest before you go on with this issue you get your facts straight.

souldotna said...

Um, dude - Hutchings may have been profitable,I dunno. But not GM. My figures are accurate and come right from the GM web page. Their last profitable year was 2004. GM was a deep pocket company as they obviously have been one of the largest businesses in the US for many years, and tried several ventures (Like Auto Spa) as an attempt to turn things around, but none really worked out for them.

GM and GMAC don't have any more money to pay anyone - hence the bailout.

And please play nice. No need to call names. Next time, show me your facts. If I'm wrong, I will apologize.

Will you?

Anonymous said...

Palins statement here is beyond ridiculous. If there were no Auto bailouts, as Palin subscribed to, Toyota would be the only one remaining in America.
GM would be long gone. Of course this statement comes straight from SarahPac, not Governor Sarah Palin. SarahPac is more concerned with car dealerships in Alaska than the governors office is.

It seems that General Manager Shawn Hutchings of Hutchings Chevrolet in Soldotnais, is back peddling after Meg Stapletounge gave him a call.

How pathetically obvious. What on earth could Shawn Hutchings be so afraid of? This just gets curiouser and curiouser. What is SarahPac doing, reversing statements from a car dealer in Alaska?

Is Palin governing straight out of SarahPac now?

Excerpt and link;

http://community.adn.com/adn/node/141258

Is Obama closing Soldotna dealership? (UPDATED)
Posted by Alaska_Politics
Posted: May 20, 2009 - 11:16 am
Comments (188) | Recommend (11)

From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage

Gov. Sarah Palin’s new statement criticizing Barack Obama blames the president for the closure of a Soldotna car dealership.

But the dealership tells me it’s not closing.

Here’s the relevant part of the statement Palin put out through SarahPAC.

“Today, we learned that Obama’s decisions continue to impact Alaskans; while we as taxpayers now own General Motors, Obama closes another dealership – this time in Soldotna as more of Alaskans’ hard-earned money and jobs are lost to big government.”

Hutchings Chevrolet in Soldotna did decide to terminate its General Motors franchise agreements.

“We’re terminating our GM franchise but we’re going to remain open for parts and service and used car sales,” General Manager Shawn Hutchings said when I called him about it.

This actually isn’t new. The Peninsula Clarion ran a story on May 10 saying the dealership was cutting its GM ties because the risk of remaining with GM was outweighing the potential reward.

I told Hutchings about the statement that Palin sent out.

“We had made the decision… but the Obama administration made a recommendation to GM that if they wanted to get any of their funding or loans moving forward that they would need to scale back their dealer body. And we did receive a letter on Friday saying that we were one of the dealerships they would be cutting. So that’s probably what that’s about,” he said.

UPDATE — I just got a call from SarahPAC spokeswoman Meg Stapleton, who contacted Hutchings about this blog post. While I was talking to Stapleton, Hutchings sent me an email saying Palin is right.

His email said “the bottom line is this: Governor Palin is correct: Soldotna lost a new car dealership as part of the federal intervention. 44 local jobs were terminated. Over a million dollars in annual payroll was lost. The net effect to Soldotna is substantial. Obama’s actions have directly impacted Alaska and Soldotna. The Governor is correct.”

Anonymous said...

I don't think that anyone at this point is researching or stating their facts in a manner that people can understand. souldotna, I am beyond frustrated reading peoples comments and when I read yours it doesn't quite make sense. I can't tell if you are talking about GM or Hutchings. The Auto Spa is owned by Hutchings and has nothing to do with GM. You're right GM and GMAC don't have the money but they keep taking, taking, taking and taking what is not there's at this point. They are forcing dealerships across the to close due to GM and GMAC's poor management. Its stealing as far as I am concerned. And frustrating listening to ignorant comments from everyone. You are right GM has been down for a few years, but when reading your post it insinuates you are talking about Hutchings. If you are talking about GM I apologize. But please make sure to post a little clearer. As for the other person posting..maybe they should check out Toyota. THEY GOT A BAILOUT FROM THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT OF $3 BILLION!! DO SOME READING!!!
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=anVdkcIs4K3g&refer=home
I don't have the time to find more than that..but I'm tired of people acting like GM and Chrysler are the only ones struggling. So that said I hope you understand where I am coming from. I will be glad to get whatever info you need to hopefully make you think a bit better of our local dealership.

souldotna said...

I can see where you could think I was implying that Hutchings was doing poorly. I edited the blog postings to hopefully eliminate that confusion.

S.

Anonymous said...

THEY GOT A BAILOUT FROM THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT OF $3 BILLION!! DO SOME READING!!!
================================
Exactly, you just made my point! The Japanese saw fit to bail out Toyota, Sarah Palin did not want bailouts for American companies.

Ergo;
If there were no Auto bailouts, as Palin subscribed to, Toyota would be the only one remaining in America.
===================================
I will be glad to get whatever info you need to hopefully make you think a bit better of our local dealership.
==================================
I stand by my critisisem;
It seems that General Manager Shawn Hutchings of Hutchings Chevrolet in Soldotnais, is back peddling after Meg Stapletounge gave him a call.



There is no need to call people "idiots", or make your remarks in caps, as it is considered shouting.

Perhaps if your reading comprehension were more astute, you would not find yourself so exercised over these postings.
===================================

Felix Chesterfield said...

Will GM's bankruptcy affect a site like this for truck and auto parts ?


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