Dealer 'appalled' at his treatment by GM

GM had offered $532,000 as compensation – not even enough to cover closing costs, according to Slessor. There was no consideration for goodwill, or for building the GM brand and service in the community over the years…"I think we earned better respect from GM and an explanation after 54 years," said Slessor, who spent $3.5 million on renovations at the company's request.

The Toronto Star
June 18, 2009

Dealer 'appalled' at his treatment by GM
Tony Van Alphen

Bob_Slessor.jpeg

In October 2010, after more than 50 yaers in the business of selling GM cars, Grimsby's Robert Slessor Pontiac Buick will cease to exist. "We are reviewing our options." president Bob Slessor says. That includes legal options. Glenn Lowson Photo for the Toronto Star

When Bob Slessor followed in his father's footsteps and became a General Motors dealer in 1990, two smiling company officials were there to shake his hand.

But last month, when GM informed him that the company would not be renewing the Grimsby franchise after 54 years in the Slessor family, he got the formal news in an email.

He and Bob Sr., his 83-year-old father, waited in his office overlooking the showroom for two hours after the time GM indicated it would send notices for renewal or rejection of franchise agreements.

As time passed, they figured that without an email, the dealership would not be among the 240 stores slated for closing.

A mid-level GM executive phoned just before the email finally arrived to see if Slessor had received a letter and accompanying "wind down" agreement for consideration. The tone of his voice spoke volumes.

Minutes later, Slessor read the email's details, turned to his retired father across the desk and gave him a "thumbs down" sign.

"There was a look of disbelief on his face," said Slessor, 52. "It was devastating."

GM had offered $532,000 as compensation – not even enough to cover closing costs, according to Slessor. There was no consideration for goodwill, or for building the GM brand and service in the community over the years.

Slessor said he was "appalled" at how GM handled the decision.

"I think we earned better respect from GM and an explanation after 54 years," said Slessor, who spent $3.5 million on renovations at the company's request.

"When I asked the guy what is it I did wrong, he said: ‘Bob, there is absolutely nothing more you could have done.’"

http://www.thestar.com/article/652644


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