Friday, May 1, 2009

MadMal Makes Headlines (Well sort of...)

A funny thing happened to me and my buddy Dave last night when I gave him a lift to pick up his truck at the dealership. We were stopped by a reporter from the Toronto Star and asked for comments on the possible demise of Chrysler.
Here is the story from today's Toronto Star. ROFLMAO!
Business as usual, Chrysler customers, dealers say
Iain Marlow
Staff Reporter
Malcolm Thomas, driving a Volkswagen Golf, dropped friend Dave Duic off at the Bob Bannerman Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership yesterday in a downpour.
Duic was picking up a Jeep – his third – which was in for repairs. ``The mystery light came on today. And I was like, ``Aw, the engine. What's that going to cost?''' Duic said.
Duic, 39, did not seem particularly perturbed by either of two facts: that Chrysler had just filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States or that the Canadian and U.S. governments had just sunk billions of dollars into keeping the automaker afloat.
"It doesn't bug me," he said, and, waving the repair receipt he held in his hand, added, "Sombody's inevitably going to pick it up."
Thomas, also 39, was a lot more pessimistic about Chrysler's future.
"It's propping up something that's badly mismanaged in the first place," he said. "It's a capitalist market; you gotta let them sink or swim."
Noting that he was a Volkswagen guy and pointing at the dealership, Thomas added: "I was just in there. The prices are great. But none of these cars interest me. I'm in the market for a new car. But even if they gave the bailout money to us, and said, `Here, buy a car; go prop them up,' I wouldn't buy a Chrysler car, or any American car."
Inside the dealership, a jovial Bob Bannerman was upbeat about the day's developments, even though a White House official told Reuters the restructuring will force Chrysler to reduce its U.S. network of dealerships.
Bannerman said car lot closings will likely be more severe in the United States since there is a desire to merge both Dodge and Chrysler dealerships and many U.S. dealers sell only one or the other. In Canada, he said, most Chrysler dealers sell both brands.
"Dealers are constantly going to go by the wayside," Bannerman said in the middle of his showroom. "We'll come out leaner and meaner ... It means we are going to be formidable."
He also said the company's merger with Fiat SpA was a positive development and figures he could be selling them as early as eight months from now.
That upbeat, optimistic tone seemed to be common at dealerships around the GTA yesterday. Paul Stern, president of the Toronto Chrysler dealership on Front Street E., also said Chrysler would emerge "leaner and meaner."
"It's just bankruptcy protection," Stern said. "It's about time we started buying vegetables from our own backyard."
Consumers or Chrysler owners need not be worried about warrantees in an era of government co-ownership, said Dan McCormack, owner of Agincourt Chrysler. No one should worry about sending documents over to Queen's Park or out to Ottawa simply to get repairs done under warranties.
"No effect at all," he said. "It's going to be just business as usual."
The spectre of bankruptcy looming over the North American automakers is "worse than the actual filing," said Huw Williams, director of public affairs for the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association.
"Consumers are going to continue to be able to purchase Chrysler cars, Chrysler's products are still coming off the lines ...
"In the orderly restructuring process that we're seeing here, we're optimistic that this isn't going to have a huge impact on consumers or dealers."

CNN if you need another interview, please contact either of my two personal assistants, Calvin or Hobbes....

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