No word yet on area GM dealerships


No announcements have been made public yet by General Motors regarding the future of its three dealerships in Iberville Parish. 

The troubled U.S. automaker had said it would announce Friday of the 1,100 dealerships that would be closed as part of the first phase of restructuring outside of bankruptcy court in hopes of regaining profitability.

The dealerships include two in Plaquemine -- Iberville Motors (which carries the Chevrolet and Cadillac brands) and Hanks Pontiac/Buick/GMC – and Brockhoeft Chevrolet in Grosse Tete.

All three dealerships have been a part of the Iberville business landscape for decades.

According to a Baton Rouge television station, only the Gerry Lane family of dealerships received word it not be affected.

But Bob Israel, president of the Louisiana Auto Dealers Association, said in a TV interview that he does not foresee any shutdown of any Louisiana dealerships.

Israel said the Detroit automaker planned to lower the boom on franchises that sell 50 vehicles or less each year. He said all Louisiana dealers exceed 100 sales annually.

Hanks, at the very least, will shed the Pontiac line following GM’s announcement that it will eliminate the Pontiac brand after 2010.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that unlike Chrysler – which announced more than 800 closings Thursday – GM would leave the task of announcing a closure to the individual dealerships.

The Chrysler announcement had no bearing on Iberville Parish because its dealership in Plaquemine closed in 2005.

New Roads Motors and Barbera Chevrolet/Chrysler in Napoleonville were among the closures Chrysler announced Thursday.

New Roads will remain in business under the Ford banner, but the future of the Barbera dealership will depend on the decision by GM.

Plaquemine lost its Ford dealership, Fred Skel Motors, earlier this year.