Rogers Dodge


Nicholas Parks, the General Manager for Rogers Dodge of Alvin, sent me this link a few days ago in reference to Chrysler’s bankruptcy and the Fiat partnership.
It is an interesting story for anyone who is following the bankruptcy, so please check it out:

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB124424451815990495-lMyQjAxMDI5NDA0NjIwNDY0Wj.html

Also, Matt McGuire, a service tech with Rogers Dodge, moonlights as a musician. He created a few snippets of music that we hope to incorporate in our documentary. I hope to have the five wma files uploaded to the blog today for everyone to check out. Matt’s a really gifted musician and we hope to make him a break-out star by sharing his tunes with the world.
As soon as I get these online, I will post them for your listening pleasure.

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Tomorrow is the last day for almost 800 Chrysler franchise dealers.

After, these dealers will no longer be able to sell new Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. Many parts and service departments will also fall by the waist sides.

At Rogers Dodge of Alvin, many of the salesmen, service and parts techs have already found other jobs. Others will be unemployed; even a few will say “Screw it” altogether and get out of the car business thanks to a bitter taste in their mouths.

I drove by Rogers Dodge this evening, and all the wispy red and white Dodge flags, ram symbols, most new vehicles and anything remotely resembling a Chrysler product are long gone. It reminds me of a ghost town in Arizona where outlaws and cowboys once set up shop. For example, if you drive through Tombstone, Arizona today, you feel an eery shadow of American history that once engulfed the town. However, there is nothing tangible to remind you of what Tombstone once was (unless you read the monument placards in town or have a fondness for Val Kilmer and pasty, tuberculosis-inspiring makeup).

Ok, maybe that analogy is reaching. But basically, the same can be said for the sad, vacant-looking Dodge store in Nolan Ryan’s hometown. Once a vibrant and thriving business abundant with gleaming clear-coated hoods and shiny chrome, Rogers Dodge is now a skeleton business; like something left after a hurricane passed through. (Actually, Hurricane Ike almost wiped out Rogers Dodge in September of last year.)

Truck lovers, Dodge enthusiasts, Car sentimentalists, get the tissues out. It’s closing time.

Apparently, Chrysler excutives are huge liars.

At least, that is the feeling most Rogers Dodge of Alvin employees have about the words spoken by Chrysler President James Press to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transporation committee at the June 3rd hearing.

“They are a bunch of lying sons of bitches,” Wesley Wells, Fleet Sales Manager, said on Wednesday.

With only six days left, employees of Rogers Dodge of Alvin are trying to rid their inventory of all new cars sitting idly on the lot. They must also sell off new mechanical parts, finish up service tickets and be ready to shut down operations as a Dodge dealer by June 9th.

The frustration Rogers Dodge employees have with Mr. Press and Chrysler has a whole has been stirring for a long time. However, tensions reached a new level of highs on Wednesday.

Nicholas Parks, General Manager of Rogers Dodge, along with Wells, the owner of Rogers Dodge, Pete Mankins, and other employees, sat watching the senate hearing on CSPAN3 in the early afternoon. They listened as Mr. Press answered a series of questions by Senate committee members, including Texas Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison. Mr. Press outlined a series of processes that have been put into effect for closed dealers to utilize which helps them to transfer vehicles and stave off major financial losses

Mr. Press stated that “over 80 percent of affected dealers have a floorplan.” This statement suggests that dealers like Nicholas Parks have already been notified of Chrysler’s intentions to help them sell off new car inventory to dealers that are “moving forward” with Chrysler franchises.

But, is this true?

“We have been contacted, yes, and they said something was put in place to start after June 9th,” Parks said. “But James Press stated at the hearing that they have 97 percent of inventory distributed from the closed dealers and that is a damn lie.”

It’s hard to tell whether Chrysler is mincing words. But closed dealers, like Nicholas Parks, will agree the one good thing that came out of Press’ statements made to the Senate committee yesterday was this… it was recorded, and is now on file for the general public to review and compare with previous statements made.

For the complete hearing webcast, click the following link:

http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.LiveStream&Hearing_id=9716ac30-a07b-4a69-aec2-189ecaf1beee

If anyone is interested in learning more about our documentary, or if anyone wants to learn about the crisis in the auto industry, there are several articles online that we have included as links for your perusal.

Here are just a few:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/columnists/chi-tue-greising-0526-may26,0,28979.column

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/may2009/db20090529_361534.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_news+%2B+analysis

http://thefacts.com/story.lasso?ewcd=f840e2b049efaf10

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/6432416.html

http://www.alvinsun.net/articles/2009/05/15/news/doc4a0dd967f203e601934584.txt

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2009/05/18/daily39.html

http://www.autonews.com/article/20090520/ANA05/905209988/1078

http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou090526_tnt_saving-cents-cars.1c0d510a.html

Additionally, this is a podcast interview with Nicholas Parks. Check it out:

http://committedtoromney.com/2009/05/29/committed-to-romney-podcast-8/

Just to let everyone know about our reasons for making this documentary, we want to be objective as possible in looking at the bankruptcy of Chrysler (and soon to be General Motors) and how both companies got there (and how they plan to get out). But, we also want to show the human element of this situation, speaking with families in the business and employees of closing dealerships personally.

We plan to interview as many employees as we can in the next 10 days, starting with the employees of Rogers Dodge of Alvin. However, we will make time to call or film anyone who wants to talk about their personal or professional situation given that there are enough hours in the day to do so. We also plan to continue filming in the months after the June 9th drop dead date for closed dealers in order to understand the after affects of these closings.

If you know someone or are someone who wants to be speak on this issue, we welcome you to contact us on our blog or on Rogers Dodge of Alvin’s website. Our film schedule for the next ten days are hectic, but we will do all we can to have your voice be heard. Additionally, filming will not stop after June 9th; we just want to get as much footage as we can between now and then to show the process of closure and the aftermath of a dealership without a Chrysler franchise.

**Please note:  We have no budget for this film. We are not seeking investors to make the film. If you are a dealer, an employee of a dealership or just a citizen who believes in fighting for something, you are welcome to make donations. For now, donations in the form of check or money order can be made c/o:

Rogers Dodge of Alvin 2616 N. Bypass 35, Alvin, Texas 77511

(If a check or money order is made, please make note on the check/ MO that funds are for “Project Disenfranchised.” None of the funds received as donations will go to business expenses for Rogers Dodge. We are not and will not seek to show favoritism toward one dealership above another.)

All donors will be given special thanks in the credits of our film, and you will know that you have contributed to a piece of history. But please do not feel that you have to make a donation to be a part of this project, however. We welcome your support in any form.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us to get this far. We are extremely grateful to you and your families.

More soon, so stay tuned!