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Old 02-25-2015, 11:09 AM   #1
XDCX
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Default Cadillac Dealer dating back to 1903 to close this week

News reports indicate that Miller Chevrolet Cadillac in Lebanon, NH will close their operation at the end of the week - Miller has held a Cadillac franchise since 1903 and a Chevrolet franchise since 1933. For the full report - click here

While I'm not familiar with the dealership or the marketplace, the closing appears to follow a common pattern of late with one exception. The report indicated the rural dealership was closing because the owner was getting pressure from GM for having low sales volumes and the owner feared a battle with GM for franchise renewal. I'm also betting there were facility demand requirements that factored into the Dealer's decision to drop their franchises with GM.

The one exception to the recent pattern of small rural dealership closings, in the case of Miller Chevrolet Cadillac the value of their land made closing the dealership the most logical business decision. The report indicated the Dealer Principal received an attractive offer for the real estate from a buyer who had no interest in running the location as a car dealership.

Concerning the Chevrolet and Cadillac franchises in Lebanon, NH, General Motors indicates they will begin a search for a new dealer to service the customers in that market area.

Last edited by XDCX; 02-25-2015 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Correct typo
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Old 03-05-2015, 03:13 PM   #2
FURYMAN
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Some additional info re this closure as I am quite familiar with the landscape...grew up nearby, have business interests in the area, etc. The ""Miller"" name was synonymous with integrity in the automobile business in the White River Jct VT area for over 75 years. The ""last"" Miller was Bill who had no children of his own and ultimately sold to the current owner who had worked for him, several years ago. Bill didnt retire until well into his 70s. The White River Jct VT location was in an old downtown cramped location so the new owner, moved it across the river/stateline into New Hampshire into a new facility and has amassed a full line Chrysler Group store as well as VW and Volvo up and down the street. At one brief point he had GMC/Buick in a separate facility down the street. When he had a chance to sell that high traffic/ high visibility location to a Nissan dealer, GM would not allow him to move Buick and GMC across the road into the Cadillac/Chevy store, so as a result of this current closing this a pretty good size market area encompassing Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center with NO GM represented and the nearest dealer being about 20 miles away to the south. This dealer principal is, shall we say, a bit of a colorful character and quite frankly the service reputation amongst other things is not as stellar as it once was under the Miller family. I suspect he may not be Mr Goodwrench's favorite dealer. And with the price of property in that area being extremely strong...real estate records show it appraises at 4.9 million...thats alot of Bowties over the curb...and the Cadillac clientel there is non existent. I think GM will spend some time finding a taker for this point with no ready building to move into.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FURYMAN View Post
And with the price of property in that area being extremely strong...real estate records show it appraises at 4.9 million...thats alot of Bowties over the curb...and the Cadillac clientel there is non existent. I think GM will spend some time finding a taker for this point with no ready building to move into.
Thanks for the update - I always like to hear from someone who knows the market and can provide more of the back-story.

I would venture to bet that more rural dealers would elect to pull the plug and self-terminate if they had a solution where they could sell the dealership real estate for a huge profit. Unfortunately, in most cases selling the real estate from a former dealership in a small rural market is a difficult task.

Concerning GM's efforts to fill the open point, that's an interesting dilemma. High real estate costs and minimal GM market penetration would make opening a new store a risky proposition.
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