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Front Page Talking Points

FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 15, 2009

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

GM, Chrysler roll in new directions without hundreds of dealers

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1.gifLook for coverage of dealers facing a shutdown in your community, region or state. Are there comments about an impact beyond lost jobs?

2.gifIs this new era for auto companies evident in the business section and in car dealers' ads? What headlines, sales promotions or featured vehicles are signs of change?

3.gifReaders, columnists and editorial writers have strong, varied feelings about what's happening in the auto industry. Find two different views about federal aid, the United Auto Workers union or company executives and tell which is closest to your thoughts.

It's the end of the road for nearly 1,900 vehicle dealers in suburbs, towns and cities across America. General Motors and Chrysler are forcing them to close as each automaker struggles to survive by shrinking. The idea is trim costly, inefficient networks of dealers that include multiple locations within 10 to 20 miles in some areas.

GM, which is reorganizing with federal help and bankruptcy court protection, is phasing out 1,100 of its 4,700 dealerships as part of cutbacks that include dropping Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn from its model lineup. Chrysler, being purchased by the Italian automaker Fiat, closed more than 780 of its 3,200 sales outlets on short notice this month.

The impact on communities will be significant -- eliminating a rough average of 50 jobs at each site, reducing business for local suppliers of goods and services, and hurting commercial real estate markets. Even Little League teams, charities and other groups will feel a pinch as dealer donations stop. "These are big names in local areas and having them shut down has a huge ripple effect in communities," says Congressman Dan Maffei of Syracuse, N.Y. "Not only is it impacting the dealers, it's impacting everyone around them."

Dealer says: "After three generations in the business, it's hard to feel like you're not a failure. God didn't leave me, but GM did." -- Bobby Kaltenbaugh, Chevrolet dealer in Sandy Lake, Pa.

Lawmaker says: "I want to know why you're not taking care of people who spent 70 years and generations selling your cars." -- Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., at House appearance by auto executives

Auto executive says: "Today's automotive industry cannot support the number of dealers currently in the marketplace." -- James Press, Chrysler president


Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2014
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