Guest buickman

Another One Bites The Dust

20 posts in this topic

Guest buickman   
Guest buickman

Cherry Hill dealership to close

Scott Eckenhoff, owner of the Buick dealership across Route 38 from the Cherry Hill Mall, will close the store next month.

GM DEALERS

The number of dealerships for each General Motors brand in North America:

Chevrolet: 3,990

Pontiac: 1,226

Buick: 666

Saturn: 432

Cadillac: 334

GMC: 314

Saab: 243

Hummer: 30

Total: 7,235 as of Aug. 31, 2006

Eckehoff's decision to sell was influenced by GM's drive to diversify the selection at its dealerships.

October 7, 2006

By EILEEN STILWELL

Courier-Post Staff

CHERRY HILL

All those Toyotas, Hondas, Subarus and Volkswagens have finally driven Scott Eckenhoff off Church Road.

He will close his Buick dealership, which sits on 6 acres of prime real estate across from the Cherry Hill Mall, next month and move to Jenkintown, Pa., where he has franchises to sell a variety of General Motors products, including Buicks, Pontiacs, GMC trucks, Cadillacs and Hummers.

He sold his South Jersey Buick franchise last week to Burns Pontiac in Marlton for an undisclosed sum. Now, it will be Burns' turn to service warranties of customers Eckenhoff has courted for decades.

"It was the hardest decision of my life," said Eckenhoff, a third-generation car salesman whose grandfather, Alvin, sold big-finned Cadillacs in Philadelphia more than 40 years ago. In 1982, his father, Ted, opened a Buick franchise in Moorestown. Sixteen years later, the father and son team moved the business to a golden location they believed could not fail.

Then the imports buried the American auto industry.

Eckenhoff's exit is largely driven by General Motors' strategy to decrease the number of dealerships -- now at 7,235 in North America -- while increasing the number of GM products they sell. In plain language, this means Buicks alone won't cut it. Customers want more variety.

This year alone, General Motors has completed 151 consolidating transactions and is anxious to do more, corporate spokeswoman Susan Garontakos said.

"Our goal is one-stop shopping for customers to look across GM's eight products. We're working with our dealers and our goal is the same as theirs: to increase profitability," she said.

Though the company posted a $10.6 billion loss last year, its restructuring program that includes massive layoffs and plant closings seems to be reversing the trend, according to July earnings.

Eckenhoff was unable to buy another GM franchise in South Jersey, so he decided to sell what he could and pour all his energy into the five Jenkintown franchises he bought two years ago.

Ideally, he will find another car dealership to take over his showroom, but if not, he's open to selling the land to the highest bidder.

"The future is not a single-line Buick store," Eckenhoff said. "Years ago, Buick offered as many as 15 models. Now, we're down to four: the Lucerne, Lacrosse, Rendezvous and Terraza."

The 46-year-old Lumberton resident said he won't miss his $132,000-a-year property tax bill, the cost of health care in New Jersey and paying interest on $4 million worth of inventory in Cherry Hill. He will miss his customers -- those who won't make the 15-mile trek to Jenkintown -- and his staff, down to 55 from about 85.

"We hope to absorb about one-third of our staff for those who want to relocate. But, I'm honestly not worried about their employment. They are all top notch and in demand by other dealerships," said Eckenhoff, who routinely ranks among the top Buick salesmen in the country.

Still, sales have dropped from a high of 1,000 cars per year to a low of 500.

"Buy American," Eckenhoff urges.

Eckenhoff's Showcase of used cars will remain on Route 38 in Maple Shade. He is prevented from moving that business to Cherry Hill because a local ordinance does not allow a stand-alone used car business. It must be secondary to a new car franchise.

"The Eckenhoff family and Buick complex has been a hallmark of Cherry Hill and I am sad to see them leave. They have always been good corporate neighbors to the township and we wish them luck in the future," Cherry Hill Mayor Bernie Platt said in a written statement.

Weather, said Eckenhoff, was a factor in his decision.

"December through February is tough in this business. I didn't think I could stand another winter and run the risk of losing everything."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drew Dowdell    4,980

Honestly, it was in a fairly congested location and wasn't all that large or modern of a dealership. People don't like driving in that area because of all the traffic. Hopefully the new owner will modernize the dealership a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sciguy_0504    0

334 Caddy dealerships? Am I wrong to question that number and dare that it should be higher? I'm not blaming this on the article, I'm just asking in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ellives    0

More gloom and doom. I have no problem with consolidation at all. Let the strong survive. I've never cared as much about unit sales and revenue numbers as I have about profitability and if the need is there to consolidate to make a profit, "make it so!"

Cherry Hill dealership to close

Scott Eckenhoff, owner of the Buick dealership across Route 38 from the Cherry Hill Mall, will close the store next month.

GM DEALERS

The number of dealerships for each General Motors brand in North America:

Chevrolet: 3,990

Pontiac: 1,226

Buick: 666

Saturn: 432

Cadillac: 334

GMC: 314

Saab: 243

Hummer: 30

Total: 7,235 as of Aug. 31, 2006

Eckehoff's decision to sell was influenced by GM's drive to diversify the selection at its dealerships.

October 7, 2006

By EILEEN STILWELL

Courier-Post Staff

CHERRY HILL

All those Toyotas, Hondas, Subarus and Volkswagens have finally driven Scott Eckenhoff off Church Road.

He will close his Buick dealership, which sits on 6 acres of prime real estate across from the Cherry Hill Mall, next month and move to Jenkintown, Pa., where he has franchises to sell a variety of General Motors products, including Buicks, Pontiacs, GMC trucks, Cadillacs and Hummers.

He sold his South Jersey Buick franchise last week to Burns Pontiac in Marlton for an undisclosed sum. Now, it will be Burns' turn to service warranties of customers Eckenhoff has courted for decades.

"It was the hardest decision of my life," said Eckenhoff, a third-generation car salesman whose grandfather, Alvin, sold big-finned Cadillacs in Philadelphia more than 40 years ago. In 1982, his father, Ted, opened a Buick franchise in Moorestown. Sixteen years later, the father and son team moved the business to a golden location they believed could not fail.

Then the imports buried the American auto industry.

Eckenhoff's exit is largely driven by General Motors' strategy to decrease the number of dealerships -- now at 7,235 in North America -- while increasing the number of GM products they sell. In plain language, this means Buicks alone won't cut it. Customers want more variety.

This year alone, General Motors has completed 151 consolidating transactions and is anxious to do more, corporate spokeswoman Susan Garontakos said.

"Our goal is one-stop shopping for customers to look across GM's eight products. We're working with our dealers and our goal is the same as theirs: to increase profitability," she said.

Though the company posted a $10.6 billion loss last year, its restructuring program that includes massive layoffs and plant closings seems to be reversing the trend, according to July earnings.

Eckenhoff was unable to buy another GM franchise in South Jersey, so he decided to sell what he could and pour all his energy into the five Jenkintown franchises he bought two years ago.

Ideally, he will find another car dealership to take over his showroom, but if not, he's open to selling the land to the highest bidder.

"The future is not a single-line Buick store," Eckenhoff said. "Years ago, Buick offered as many as 15 models. Now, we're down to four: the Lucerne, Lacrosse, Rendezvous and Terraza."

The 46-year-old Lumberton resident said he won't miss his $132,000-a-year property tax bill, the cost of health care in New Jersey and paying interest on $4 million worth of inventory in Cherry Hill. He will miss his customers -- those who won't make the 15-mile trek to Jenkintown -- and his staff, down to 55 from about 85.

"We hope to absorb about one-third of our staff for those who want to relocate. But, I'm honestly not worried about their employment. They are all top notch and in demand by other dealerships," said Eckenhoff, who routinely ranks among the top Buick salesmen in the country.

Still, sales have dropped from a high of 1,000 cars per year to a low of 500.

"Buy American," Eckenhoff urges.

Eckenhoff's Showcase of used cars will remain on Route 38 in Maple Shade. He is prevented from moving that business to Cherry Hill because a local ordinance does not allow a stand-alone used car business. It must be secondary to a new car franchise.

"The Eckenhoff family and Buick complex has been a hallmark of Cherry Hill and I am sad to see them leave. They have always been good corporate neighbors to the township and we wish them luck in the future," Cherry Hill Mayor Bernie Platt said in a written statement.

Weather, said Eckenhoff, was a factor in his decision.

"December through February is tough in this business. I didn't think I could stand another winter and run the risk of losing everything."

206920[/snapback]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BigPontiac    28

Honestly, it was in a fairly congested location and wasn't all that large or modern of a dealership. People don't like driving in that area because of all the traffic.  Hopefully the new owner will modernize the dealership a bit.

206928[/snapback]

Sounds eerily like the "historic" Pontiac dealer that just closed in CT. Look at the pics and suddenly it's not so bad.

Pontiac dealer closing thread

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cory Wolfe    263

Only 30 HUMMER dealers nationwide? That doesn't sound right.

206929[/snapback]

334 Caddy dealerships?  Am I wrong to question that number and dare that it should be higher?  I'm not blaming this on the article, I'm just asking in general.

206933[/snapback]

Perhaps those are just counting stand-alone dealerships, not dealerships with more than one GM brand. I mean, I can think of 4 seperate multi-GM-brand dealers that sell Cadillac within a 20 mile radius of me... and I live in rural PA. Edited by blackviper8891

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FAPTurbo    1,075

Although consolidation is part of GM's plan, it is still disheartening to hear stories like these.

Hopefully, in the next few years, we won't be hearing many more similar stories, and maybe even some stories about new GM dealerships popping up. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Northstar    11

Perhaps those are just counting stand-alone dealerships, not dealerships with more than one GM brand. I mean, I can think of 4 seperate multi-GM-brand dealers that sell Cadillac within a 20 mile radius of me... and I live in rural PA.

207013[/snapback]

Yeah, that's what it is I think. There were 44xx Chevy dealers not long ago, so there's no way they closed 500, though it's interesting that there are only about 500 stand-alone Chevy dealers then.

Autonews has the data if anyone wants to look it up. I could probably find it in an old issue, but I don't have my subscription anymore and I'd have to go home to get it out of an old issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hyperv6    774

Bottom line is was their performance on par with other Buick or Buick, Pontiac GMC dealers?

The ones in my area have no problem selling what they have and some have even built new dealerships to meet the new designs required by GM. If low sales and money were a issue I don't think I would have seen new dealers building new buildings.

I think there is more to the story than just lack of product from GM and this dealership.

Also those numbers seem low to me too. I would like to see a creditable list.

Dealers have to adapt to new ways or die this may be a case of this.

Edited by hyperv6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those numbers don't seem right at all. Are you sure those include Canada? I've never seen Pontiac, Buick or GMC without the other two up here. Also, I see a LOT of Chev or P-B-G dealers that also carry Cadillac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chicagoland    2

Years ago Buick had more models, which were just Chevys with more chrome. GM has to keep the main brands, Chevy and Caddy going, and not all of them with the same cars as they did all of the 80s and 90s. Look hwo well that worked, from 45% to 25% share.

No one [exepct nerds] cares about Buick's trim differences versus Chevy's when buying a car, they care about quality, performance, and value. And don't just shop GM brands too.

Edited by Chicagoland

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thegriffon    5

So while the number of GM dealerships has gone down by one, the number of Buick dealerships remains unchanged. If things are so bad for Buick and Pontiac, why are other dealers buying these franchises?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zhawk    0

So while the number of GM dealerships has gone down by one, the number of Buick dealerships remains unchanged. If things are so bad for Buick and Pontiac, why are other dealers buying these franchises?

208604[/snapback]

Shhh, stop making sense. You'll make Buickman cry. Oh wait, he was banned, wasn't he?

As bad as it sounds to hear dealerships closing, its part of business. The owner has another dealership and someone bought his franchise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GMTruckGuy74    228
Oh great - Burns Pontiac/GMC bought this franchise. Now every Buick will have a $317 Pro-Package slapped on it, whether the customer wants it or not. What do you get for $317? Tape pinstripes (still labeled as "painted" on the add-on window sticker), VIN Etching, and plastic door guards. I leased my Envoy from them and they wouldn't budge on those items. Last time I'm buying from them. And the sad part was that if we were going to buy a new Buick, I was going to go to Eckenhoff's in Cherry Hill just because they have a much larger and better selection than the very small Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealer right around the corner from me has and a more professional atmosphere too. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.