Local News

Louisburg auto dealership fights to save business

Posted December 2, 2009

— Anthony Neal has spent two decades working on cars.

"This is all I know to do," he said.

Yet, Neal is unsure if he will still have a job this time next year.

GM cutbacks worry Louisburg dealership GM cutbacks worry Louisburg dealership

"It's going to hurt, because I'm going to have to relocate to somewhere else, and I really don't want to do that," he said.

Neal's employer, D&J Automotive, is one of approximately 1,300 General Motors auto dealerships nationwide slated to lose its affiliation with the automaker in October.

"It will be a sad day," said Phyllis Jeffreys Culbreth, the dealership's owner. "It's very personal for us, because we've been here for so long."

Her father founded D&J in the 1960s, and for decades, it's been one of Louisburg's bigger businesses and the only GM dealership in Franklin County.

"We need it badly for jobs," Louisburg Mayor Karl Pernell said Wednesday. "We need it for the service of people who have GM products."

By losing its GM affiliation, D&J would no longer sell new GM vehicles, and it wouldn't carry auto parts. Jeffreys Culbreth said the dealership will still sell Chrysler and used autos but that the business would be significantly affected.

One area would be the service department. Mechanics say they will lose about a third of their business.

Now, the dealership has created a Web site and is asking the community to write letters urging GM to keep its franchise agreement.

"I think it will tell the people of Franklin County that we fought, that we tried to retain what we felt was ours," Jeffreys Culbreth said.

Those are words that employees like Neal take to heart.

"We're going to stay here until the end," he said. "We're going to fight it out."

A GM spokeswoman in Detroit says the company chose to cut ties with the dealers based on their long-term viability. She said profitability, more than community support, was the criteria used in making the selections.


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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 3, 2009

    More change "socialism" that you can count on from our Socialist President Obama.

    I bet this wasn't the kind of change that voters in Franklin County voted for when they voted for Obama.

  • ifcdirector Dec 3, 2009

    Louisburg and Franklin County this is the "Change" you were hoping for and continue to hope for every time you continually elect democrats to fill all of your city, county, state, and federal posts. Enjoy.

  • jet2rdu Dec 3, 2009

    The Louisburg auto dealership business owner and not the government, with our US Congress oversight, should make the decision whether an existing auto dealership should continue to remain a GM dealer. It was not until GM was taken over by the government that this problem occured. The government appointed GM officers don't have a clue how much local dealerships, no matter how small or large, with small or large profits feed back into the local economy and provide jobs from entry to highly skilled levels. Putting money back into the local economy through wages is a big part of what will get businesses to hire and expand. So far the Obama administration is not producing results. So, using their own logic, maybe we should take the Dem dealership out of Congress in 2010, since they are not helping businesses.

    The new GM theme song, sung to "See The USA In Your Chevrolet", should be "Help the USA, vote the Dems away"

  • jrfergerson Dec 3, 2009

    when I went on line to get a quote for a new car, they did not even respond - so I will not miss them at all.

  • gandalla Dec 3, 2009

    When GM was deciding who to cut they selected the dealerships that were doing the least amount of business. There is nothing wrong with getting rid of a low performer.

  • Tax Man Dec 3, 2009

    Obama should have let GM fail and go into bankruptcy - other companies would have taken up the slack and the assets and we would not have "Government Motors" to support. It is the normal course for failed businesses - the government should not interfere. Hopefully this dealership will affiliate with another car manufacturer - probably from Japan - maybe even China!

  • notthemama Dec 3, 2009

    and exactly who voted for change?

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 3, 2009

    Seeing that people from Franklin County drive to Raleigh to buy cars because they are cheaper in Wake County, it looks like GM made the right decision.

  • artist Dec 3, 2009

    "She said profitability, more than community support, was the criteria used in making the selections."

    Well... that says it all.