Here's what we know: Palmen Automotive Group bought LeMay Buick, GMC, Cadillac dealership in Kenosha and will close its GM dealership in Racine. The Kenosha News reported this and Palmen confirmed it Wednesday morning. GM wanted to consolidate the Racine-Kenosha market, Palmen said, explaining the sale.
About 30 jobs are on the line in Racine, Palmen said. Some of those jobs will move to the new Palmen GM dealership in Kenosha, but it's too early to say how many, he said. "We definitely will keep some of our employees," Palmen said.
Palmen added: "We're thrilled to be GM's choice for the regional representation and continue to represent these markets for their new products for Buick, GMC and Cadillac."
The Palmen Dodge Chrysler Jeep location in Racine is not affected, according to the J-S story.
According to sources, LeMay is the big loser in the deal. They're out of business and a bank is on the hook for $5 million in bad debt on the dealership, sources said.
We're also told that Porcaro Ford plans to buy the old Palmen dealership in Racine, which would leave the old Towne Ford building (now Porcaro Ford) vacant, according to sources. Andy Palmen declined to comment on the sale. We're waiting for a call back from Porcaro.
Update: We reported Palmen was closing back in September. We had the story down cold, but Andy Palmen, head of Palmen Motors, demanded a retraction. It made sense at the time. Palmen was still trying to sell cars and wasn't ready to announce the dealership was closing.
"We are a GM dealership today and we'll be a GM dealership tomorrow," he said at the time. "We're in conversations with GM. We don't know what it will look like in a year."But Palmen employees were told in September GM wasn't allowing the dealership to buy any new cars, and everybody was expecting the dealership to close or convert to a used car lot.
After criticizing our original story, Palmen promised to call when he had more to say. We got a call from him Tuesday night, but haven't connected yet. Palmen said on the message there's a "bigger story" to tell about the dealership closing. We look forward to telling it.
Original post: This morning, General Motors dropped the first shoe, announcing a going-out-of-business "fire" sale on two car brands it is discontinuing, Pontiac and Saturn.
This afternoon, the state Department of Workforce Development dropped the second, announcing that Racine's Palmen Pontiac Buick GMC dealership at 6001 Washington Ave. will close on Feb. 23, putting 33 employees out of work according to the JT.
The sales incentive from GM amounts to $7,000 offered to dealers for each Saturn or Pontiac car they move to rental-vehicle or service-vehicle fleets operated by the dealers. Dealers can then sell the vehicles at a more attractive price, though they must be described to customers as used because the dealers technically will be the vehicles' first owner.Dealers have until Jan. 4 to accept the deal.
GM has also dropped Hummer and Saab.
Earlier this month, US News and World Report wrote about 10 Fire Sale Cars to Steer Away From, based on their expected resale value in five years. A Pontiac and Saturn model are on the list -- but USNWR didn't know how large a discount GM would be offering. Read the story HERE and make up your own mind. Of course, if you're like us, keep a car forever and run it into the ground, then resale value is irrelevant.