Tyler to sell GM vehicles againPublished 11:12pm Monday, May 10, 2010
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
After a year that challenged many in the auto industry with significant change, Tyler Automotive – shocked last year when it was dropped as an authorized General Motors dealership – will see Chevrolet and Cadillac model vehicles on its lot once again.
“Last year about this time GM notified us that our dealership would not offer GM products beyond October of 2010,” owner Scott Tyler said Monday morning. “I am happy to announce that GM has reconsidered its position with respect to our dealership and effective today we are once again a full-service Chevrolet and Cadillac dealer and we expect new GM product to arrive in about a month.”
The news is a victory for the dealership which met recent troubles passed down through a beaten and battered automobile industry head on.
Heavy hitter GM eliminated hundreds of dealerships last year and then, the news that after attempts to sell, Hummer would also cease.
Where Hummers dominated Tyler’s South 11th Street lot, its Kia brand vehicles will remain.
“Our recently acquired Kia franchise will also be at our Chevy/Cadillac location,” Tyler said, “but will be housed in our former Hummer showroom.”
Cadillac and Chevy are the only GM brands scheduled to make their return, but services to all makes and models under the “Big Three” automaker will be available.
“Unfortunately, we won’t be carrying all of the GM brands like before,” Tyler said. “But GM has authorized us to continue servicing and performing warranty work on all Buick, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn vehicles.”
The good news doesn’t come without a nod to those still suffering from the events of last year.
“As thrilled as we are to be a GM dealer again,” Tyler said, “our thoughts are still with those other dealers and employees who were targeted” and not reinstated – some of them forced to close their doors, many without jobs.
With so many ups and downs in a single year, it would be easy to assume that even with all his knowledge of his industry, Tyler may have learned something from the experience.
“Running any business is a challenge,” he said. “Operating in an economy like we’ve had in the last couple of years is extremely difficult. And then trying to do it after you’ve lost access to the products that you sold is tough.”
Some questions, however, remain unanswered.
“I still don’t know why they eliminated us,” Tyler said. “And frankly, I don’t know why they want us back.
“Last year Kia added only 60 dealers nationally,” he added. “They were highly selective. In our case they loved our facility … they loved our staff and our track record, but they also really desired having a dealership in the greater Niles area. GM finally came to that same conclusion.”
The dealership is home to 45 employees and for the company as a whole, the news is not just happy but reflective.
“This whole episode has really tested the resiliency of everyone that works here,” Tyler said. “It’s been a tough year but I’m really proud to say that we all got though it and we may even be stronger in the long run with how it ended up.”