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Local Dealers Glad to See Strike End

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'Canes Come Home
FAYETTEVILLE — Car dealers watched their customer numbers shrink along with their inventory during the General Motors strike. Although some didn't feel it as hard as others, just everyone agrees that a longer strike would have put a big dent in sales.

Local GM dealers expect business to get back to normal now that the strike appears to be over. The feelings among local dealers were almost identical.

"My reaction is real good that the strike is over," Peter Stewart explained. "Especially in the last month, our fast products have slowed down. We've run out of them. Our inventory has gotten real thin, and I believe the consumer has quit coming looking for cars."

"Of course we'd like to see our inventory come back up, because with the strike, our inventory has dropped down to where we only have a months supply," says Clayton Perkins. "We normally keep more than that, and we have some ordered vehicles that people are getting kind of anxious for."

As to how much the strike hurt each GM dealer-- it simply depends on timing.

"The strike hit us at a time when we had a great inventory," Johnny Godwin admits. "It hasn't really been a problem this far. We feel like with the strike being over now, we'll continue to move the product without any real interruption."

People whose leases ran out during the strike were given six-month extensions. That has dealers excited.

"The consumers who did option to extend that product will come and look at the new products as they come out-- the '99 products," says Stewart.

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