Fred Beans - Pontiac Buick GMC - An Open Letter to Barack Obama

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An open letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, and Frederick Henderson, Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Corporation:

An open letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, and Frederick Henderson, Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Corporation:

On behalf of our 1,500 employees in southeastern Pennsylvania, I ask for your help to ensure that GM's bankruptcy does not cost our families their livelihood.

In 1959, I opened a two bay service station in Yardley, Pennsylvania with 1,200 dollars and a loan cosigned by my mother for 5,000 dollars. With dedicated employees, a commitment to succeed and the power of the "American Dream," the Fred Beans Family of Dealerships has grown to an organization of 1,500 employees, and our operations have expanded from our original location in Doylestown to West Chester, Devon, Limerick, Boyertown, Langhorne, Mechanicsburg and New Holland. Today, we represent Ford, Toyota, Lincoln-Mercury, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, Suzuki, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Saturn, Buick, Pontiac, GMC and Mitsubishi.

Our achievements have not gone unnoticed in the industry. We've been recognized by every manufacturer we represent including: the GM Dealer of the Year (2006), Ford President's Award (6 years in a row) and our Nissan Dealership is consistently ranked with one of the highest customer satisfaction indexes in the United States. From my humble beginnings as a technician and with the help of dedicated employees, we have also become the fifth largest GM parts dealer in the United States, the fifth largest Ford Parts Dealer in the nation, and the largest Chrysler Corporation parts dealer in the United States.

Beyond selling cars and parts, our organization, like most dealerships across America, has been a positive presence in each and every community we operate in. We have built buildings and financially supported important organizations like the YMCA, the Boy Scouts of America, the Michener Art Museum, the Doylestown Hospital and a host of others. Our giving programs have exceeded $2 million dollars, and I join my employees in expressing pride in our ability to help causes that we hold dear.

How has our commitment to excellence, loyalty to the domestic auto industry and support for our communities been rewarded? On June 1, our Limerick Pontiac Buick GMC dealership received a "Wind Down" Agreement from the General Motors Corporation indicating that our General Motors Franchise was being revoked.

Fred Beans Pontiac Buick GMC of Limerick is relatively new, having been purchased in 2001 with GM's blessing. It was built from the ground up on what was an open field that was intended to be an auto mall. At the time, it was purely a vision in an undeveloped area with little traffic. It has now become a true auto mall with Saturn, Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai and Honda all represented. A Super Wawa has also opened and a Holiday Inn Express is under construction. The area is now one of the fastest growing communities in the nation, and the need for GM representation there couldn't be clearer.

In our opinion, GM has made a mistake, one that will cost the 40 employees at this dealership their jobs, their benefits, and their livelihoods. It's ramifications for our other dealerships, already suffering, will be great. What is our recourse? It is an appeal, which we were advised to send to an anonymous e-mail address. We filed that appeal and followed it with packages to 5 GM executives without reply.

As a GM dealer for over 20 years and one of the original Saturn dealers, I and my employees are shocked at our treatment by GM, a company that some of us have spent decades representing.
Washington told us that the government cannot let Detroit fail….that such failure would be devastating to the parts suppliers, the shippers, and the thousands of employees associated with the manufacturing process.

How about the dealers, their employees and their families and extended families? Must we fail so that they don't?

We don't believe that the money given to General Motors by our federal government was intended to put small business people out of business, forcing them into bankruptcy and shuttering their businesses.

President Obama and CEO Henderson, on behalf of our 1500 employees, and the families we support, we respectfully request that you review our appeal package and reverse your decision.

I would like to thank our team members for urging me to seek your support.

Sincerely,
Fred Beans, Beth Beans Gilbert, Barbara Beans, Jennifer Beans Keiser,
and the loyal employees and customers of the Fred Beans Family of Dealerships

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