GM Stays With Clark
Troy Clark's family has stood behind General Motors for at least three generations.
Now it appears that GM is standing behind Clark and his dealership, Clark Chevrolet Cadillac in Pinehurst.
GM announced that it was cutting loose more than 1,000 dealers. Dealers were expected to receive letters last Friday informing them whether they made the cut or not.
Clark didn't get a letter. He felt confident that he wouldn't, based on the criteria the beleaguered company was using to determine which dealerships made the cut -- meeting goals when it came to selling cars and customer satisfaction.
"A lot of people have asked me how we are doing," Clark said. "I tell them we're completely on go. We are on go with GM, and we don't see that changing any time soon. We'll continue to take care of our customers and see the commitment through. Our business is our customers. We focus on our customers and that will never change."
The Pilot has been unable to determine the status of Southern Pines Chevrolet Buick Pontiac GMC on U.S. 1.
Clark admitted that tough economic times have created changes in his business, but he also said he believes that the tough times have made his dealership better.
"We certainly have had to make changes," he said. "It's different than it was five years ago. In a way, it's a good thing. I think we've learned from it. We've had to work more efficiently and work harder. That is only going to make us better when things turn around."
His father, Bill Clark, opened the dealership in August 1971, and "worked very hard," Troy Clark said.
"He saw, and experienced, a lot of things over the years, but never anything like this (economy)," he said.
His grandfather was a vice president for Chevrolet during the 1970s, and Clark said that his family's heart has always been with GM. His heart is also with Moore County, the place where he grew up, eventually taking over his dad's dealership in 2001.
His dealership has 32 employees, and it tries to help out in the community as often as possible when it comes to charitable activities.
"I'm loyal to GM, and I think the products it is offering are as good as any product on the market," he said. "I'm also thankful for the loyal customers. Not just customers, but friends and people that might not do business with us have asked me if we are doing OK. They don't want to see us go out of business.
"Well, I can tell them now that we're not going anywhere. This is a great area and we feel very fortunate to be here. We look forward to continue being here."
Clark, groomed by his family's longtime involvement with selling cars, doesn't deny the fact that things could change based on the threat of GM declaring bankruptcy, a possibility that looms on the horizon. According to many news reports and analysis, and what just happened with Chrysler, it appears that cutting loose dealerships is the first step for GM to move in the direction of bankruptcy.
"Of course, I can't deny that with bankruptcy looming (for GM)," he said, "and if that comes into play, no one can say what happens then."
Contact Hunter Chase at 693-2478 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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