Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fox News: Rattner Makes things Up

Last night I appeared on Fox News Scoreboard when I was asked about the former car czar Steve Rattner's new book, full of bad information. It is unfortunate that two Presidents tried to do what is right and they were badly served by Mr. Rattner. While I know the attorney general of New York has been a distraction for Rattner during their investigation of his alleged misdeeds for which he has been disavowed by his former business partners, there is no excuse for obfuscation.

Please click here to see the video

Friday, October 1, 2010

Kind Words from Donna Harris of Automotive News

Jack Fitzgerald, who lost his bid to restore his four Maryland Chrysler stores this summer, is back selling Chrysler vehicles in Maryland. He’s also back helping a fellow dealer.

Fitzgerald was a leader in a fight by rejected dealers to keep their franchises after the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies. He lost his Chrysler arbitration cases in Maryland but won his Chrysler battle in Florida. He also reached settlements with GM to keep two dealerships slated to be closed.

This week, Fitzgerald bought a majority stake in Park Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep in Lexington Park, Md. Seller Jerry Dillard, a minority-dealer leader, will retain part-ownership in the store and continue as the operator.

On its face, this looks like a normal partnership, but it’s actually a rescue. Fitzgerald said Dillard has been a good operator for many years and only ran into trouble when he lost his inventory financing last year. Many lenders were unwilling to provide floorplan financing for Chrysler dealers during such uncertain times.

Fitzgerald told me he and Dillard had been friends a long time, and an acquisition was the only way he could help Dillard keep the store. The credit crisis and Chrysler bankruptcy had taken too much of a toll.

So Fitzgerald is at it again -- selling Chrysler and helping out when he can.

You can reach Donna Harris at dharris@crain.com.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100930/BLOG14/100939967/1400/blog#ixzz118NFyFfQ