GM Adds Insult to Oldsmobile

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Until now, owning an Oldsmobile dealership was kind of like Ford’s logo-and-all, pre-meltdown mortgage: at the time it seemed bad, but history proved that the alternative was worse. After all, the Olds wind-down paid dealers up to $4 million to go away. Only now, several Oldsmobile dealers are getting a little taste of what GM’s less fortunate, bankruptcy-culled dealers have been put through. The Detroit News reports that “a handful” of Olds dealers are still owed annuity payments from the brandicide, and GM is filing those claims as “unsecured” debts of old, bad GM. Nobody likes being shorted in the neighborhood of $20K, but at least Olds dealers got something, right? Shouldn’t they count themselves lucky to be free of GM with any compensation at all? Not according to their lawyer . . .

“It is absolutely atrocious … that they would be considered an unsecured claim, which means those dealers are going to be lucky to get pennies on the dollar. It is just outrageous that they would not attempt to meet their obligations under those settlements.”

So argues Richard Sox, who represented Olds dealers during the Oldsmobile euthanasia. “We will comply with whatever the bankruptcy court provides to us in terms of handling those matters,” shoot back GM spokesfolks. And so far that approach has worked well enough to make the Olds shutdown look like charity.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Venator Venator on Aug 11, 2009

    CyCarConsulting, Ransom E. Olds did not sell Oldsmobile to GM in 1908, or any other year, for that matter. He left the Olds Motor Works in 1904, and started up Reo the same year. Andy D, John Horner, my sentiments exactly.

  • Windswords Windswords on Aug 11, 2009

    I will keep reminding everyone that the reason GM chose Olds to die, the ONLY reason, was that Olds had the smallest number of stand alone dealerships. Most were dualed with someone else (like Caddy in the pic above), many were trippled (is that a word?). So it cost GM less money in the end. Would Saturn have been a better choice? Well, the brand still had some upside to it compared to Olds, but the big reason was that it had 400+ STAND ALONE dealerships, and everyone of them would have wanted - and got - BIG money from GM to shut them down. It's all about the dollars.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Aug 11, 2009

    I wonder who owns the intellectual property associated with the Oldsmobile brand, the "new" GM or the remnant stuck with the distressed assets?

  • Accs Accs on Aug 16, 2009

    I cant even for the life of me.. understand nor recognize fully the problems that GM will forever have with Oldsmobile. I will say.. Im about 30yrs away from ever seeing such a beaut as whats in that pic.