Monday, January 28, 2002

Auto dealers think industry is on a roll

The Associated Press

        NEW ORLEANS — Coming off the second best sales year in history, auto dealers said Sunday they found little to complain about during meetings with top executives at General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler AG.

        The approximately 1,200 dealers who packed a Ford meeting during the National Automobile Dealers Association convention gave Jim O'Connor, president of the company's Ford division, a standing ovation.

        Dealer Robert Nolan from Cincinnati said he ap proves of the changes Ford is making with restructuring and the management changes made since July, including the ouster of former president and CEO Jacques Nasser.

        “They finally have car guys back in charge. I like that,” said Mr. Nolan, who owns dealerships in Columbia Township and Georgetown, Ky.

        There was continued concern from GM dealers who sell the Oldsmobile line, which is being discontinued. Many have accepted GM's buyout, but others would have liked something a little richer.

        d get rid of that problem, I think they've got a lot of momentum,” said Alan Starling, an Oldsmobile-Chevrolet dealer from St. Cloud, Fla., who also is an NADA officer.

        A meeting was scheduled today to specifically address the concerns of Oldsmobile dealers.


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