Death Watch on Auto Row | The Wandering Eye | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Death Watch on Auto Row 

One day long, long ago, shortly after The Eye moved to Bend, our boss came up to us beaming, shook our hand and offered his

One day long, long ago, shortly after The Eye moved to Bend, our boss came up to us beaming, shook our hand and offered his congratulations. Our big achievement: We'd just bought a Jeep Cherokee from a local dealer.

Back in those distant days, you see, it was routine for Bendites to go to Portland to buy their vehicles - not just because they (supposedly) were cheaper there, but also because there wasn't much of a selection here.

Those not-so-good old days may be coming back: Over the past week, Chrysler and GM dropped the ax on three of their long-time Central Oregon dealerships. Bob Thomas of Bend lost its Chevy and Cadillac franchises, Thomas Sales & Service of Bend lost its Chrysler franchise, and Dave Hamilton of Redmond was a double loser - it was cut by both GM and Chrysler.

Bob Thomas and Thomas Sales & Service are appealing the GM and Chrysler decisions. If the appeals don't succeed, anybody who needs warranty service on a Chevy vehicle will have to take it to Gary Gruner in Madras.

But eventually even that option might not be available: The more than 1,100 dealerships that GM slashed last week were less than half the number that the automaker ultimately wants to get rid of.

No matter how you feel about car salesmen in general, the loss of major dealerships isn't a good thing for Central Oregon. They're significant employers and taxpayers, and they've been consistent supporters of local events and non-profits.

More than that, the absence of any GM or Chrysler dealer in town reinforces the impression that Bend is an isolated, middle-of-nowhere hamlet, and that will make it just a little bit harder to claw our way out of the recession.

Bad economic news tends to spawn more bad economic news. We've already lost a number of good restaurants, several retailers and at least one major (by local standards) manufacturer - and now we're losing car dealerships. The tumbleweeds aren't blowing down the middle of Wall Street yet, but this place is starting to get a bit of that creepy ghost-town feeling.

Pin It

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Concert with Shireen Amini

Concert with Shireen Amini - The Haven CoWorking

Thu., July 7, 5-7 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in The Wandering Eye

  • Moonshine Magic in Bend Still on the Down Low

    • Aug 9, 2012
    Get ready for our great close-up on the home distilling community out next week in our "Best of" issue. We interviewed a mixed bag of legal and anarchist distillers in Bend to find out why distilling is so very, very against the law in one's home. More »
  • The Eye Wanders Off Into the Sunset

    • Dec 26, 2010
    I’m really sorry to break the bad news to them during this season of peace and goodwill, but after this week the right-wingers in Bend and vicinity won’t have The Wandering Eye to kick around anymore. The decision to stop writing this blog was my own, and it was prompted by several factors. More »
  • DADT, Gay-Bashing and the "Icky-ness" Factor

    • Dec 19, 2010
    For the past week or so, “Zeo” of the NW Republican blog has had his jock strap in a knot over the prospect of Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. To hear Zeo tell it, if DADT is repealed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the US military it will mean the end not only of our armed forces but of America, its economic system and civilization in general. More »
  • More »

More by The Source Staff

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2022 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation