George C. Joseph: ‘Letter from a Dodge Dealer’

After reading this letter one can not help but think that the assumption that somehow we are operating under a free market economy is just an illusion.

From American Thinker:

Letter from a Dodge dealer

letter to the editor

My name is George C. Joseph. I am the sole owner of Sunshine Dodge-Isuzu, a family owned and operated business in Melbourne, Florida. My family bought and paid for this automobile franchise 35 years ago in 1974. I am the second generation to manage this business.

We currently employ 50+ people and before the economic slowdown we employed over 70 local people. We are active in the community and the local chamber of commerce. We deal with several dozen local vendors on a day to day basis and many more during a month. All depend on our business for part of their livelihood. We are financially strong with great respect in the market place and community. We have strong local presence and stability.

I work every day the store is open, nine to ten hours a day. I know most of our customers and all our employees. Sunshine Dodge is my life.

On Thursday, May 14, 2009 I was notified that my Dodge franchise, that we purchased, will be taken away from my family on June 9, 2009 without compensation and given to another dealer at no cost to them. My new vehicle inventory consists of 125 vehicles with a financed balance of 3 million dollars. This inventory becomes impossible to sell with no factory incentives beyond June 9, 2009. Without the Dodge franchise we can no longer sell a new Dodge as “new,” nor will we be able to do any warranty service work. Additionally, my Dodge parts inventory, (approximately $300,000.) is virtually worthless without the ability to perform warranty service. There is no offer from Chrysler to buy back the vehicles or parts inventory.

Our facility was recently totally renovated at Chrysler’s insistence, incurring a multi-million dollar debt in the form of a mortgage at Sun Trust Bank.



This is beyond imagination! My business is being stolen from me through NO FAULT OF OUR OWN. We did NOTHING wrong.

This atrocity will most likely force my family into bankruptcy. This will also cause our 50+ employees to be unemployed. How will they provide for their families? This is a total economic disaster.


I beseech your help, and look forward to your reply. Thank you.


George C. Joseph
President & Owner
Sunshine Dodge-Isuzu

[via ZeroHedge]

It is very hard to comprehend the reason why a profitable and upstanding operation that has been family run for 35 years is forcibly pushed to close its doors. It makes no sense. This dealership is not even a drag on the operations of Chrysler. This is just insane.

35 Comments on George C. Joseph: ‘Letter from a Dodge Dealer’

  1. Mr. Joseph doesn’t sound like an astute businessman. He is either leaving out something regarding Chrysler dropping him as a dealer OR he really didn’t do a very good job at reading his agreement with Chrysler. Why would anyone with half a brain for business enter an agreement allowing the other party to take away your franchise with less than 30 days notice, not buy back your inventory, and require you to take out a million dollar mortgage for facility upgrades?

  2. If the man was in business for 35 year and currently turning a profit, I doubt that comes from a businessman who is not astute. Read closely… “taken away and given to another dealer…” doesn’t sound like they are “closing” the business at all, sounds more like a corporate consolidation of some sort via a transfer of the franchise license to a more “central location” in that area. Regardless, it is certainly an attempt to reduce the size of the Dodge footprint. I wouldn’t take that lying down if I were him, at a minimum I’d sue for all the costs involved with losing the franchise.

  3. I think the American people better open up their eyes before it is to late. This President is crazy and if we don’t stand up to him we will no longer recognize our own country. If you understand economics and business you could see what this President is doing to this country. For all of you that think there should be a free ride and anything goes, you’re wrong. Get back to good work ethics, study hard and put this country back on the map. Stop trying to out do the Jone’s and be thankful you lived in a free country. Mr Joseph was a man whom put in long hours in a difficult business. No body is perfect. What you are seeing if you would open your eyes is a President out of control and trying to move into the private business and many people haven’t seen through his plan yet. WAKE UP PEOPLE and take off the rose colored glasses. I have never sold cars or even been in that business but I educate myself on as much as I can. I told my broker before our economy started to fall this was going to happen and he laughed at me. Now I’m laughing at him. Please for our countries sake stop and think, pay close attention and learn before it is to late.

    • Deborah,
      I hate to have to write this because I know it may seem hurtful, and I do not want to hurt you, but I feel compelled to say something. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments, and that is why I am compelled to write you with a criticism and a suggestion. You say that you try to stay informed, or some words to that effect. I suggest that you get some tutoring, or maybe even take a class to learn how to use the English language. At the very least, have someone who knows how to write proofread your comments before you post them for all to see. I am currently working as an English tutor, but I have a certificate as an English teacher, and I would be glad to offer my services, for whatever they may be worth. I don’t know if I can leave you my e-mail address, so I won’t try, but if you want to reach me, I’m sure you will find a way. You seem to be bright enough.

      • I agree with Deborah, and your pointless patronizing belittling of her was at best irrelevant. It is long past time that people everywhere stood up against the removal of individual rights.( Dr Rob Johnston.PhD Biochemistry)

  4. i totaly agree with deborah this president is taking this country toward socialism with the government controling all the buisnesses and the banks again folke WAKE UP and stop the madness

  5. This President was taking the country toward SOCIALISM when the COUNTRY voted for him! This is what people want. They want to be taken care of! They dont want to work, dont want mexicans to do the work they dont want to do, and they certainly dont want to think! Pain=reaction. The sheep like Obama and they will follow till it hurts!

    The big 3 had more dealers then the ever should have. High expectations from fewer dealers can= better profit and better customer relations. They have produced garbage for years and must take action to survive. All that being said…To take away a dealership with 30 days notice and without comp is or should be criminal..

    • Yes, and when we start eating them without roasting them first, the end of the age will have been accomplished. (Just kidding. I agree with you, unfortunately.)

  6. I doubt anyone will forget by the time 2010 comes along but it’s going to take a LLLLOOOOOOOOONNNNGGGGG time to correct what this president is doing to our country.. and that’s IF it’s correctable at all.. I have no idea what things will be like if our dollar crashes completely… What will happen to this country without a tradeable currency will be very hard to imagine. How we would bounce back from such an event is beyond comprehension. What will the countries we are in debt to do when our currency is made worthless? China is already quite upset at the fact that their investment in America is greatly devalued… It’s going to something we’ve never experienced before.. Good luck to us all…

  7. The only reason Chrysler can do this to him is because they filed for bankruptcy protection. Thus, all contracts are null and void. The ridiculous part about it is that the goverment is forcing decisions based on the loans they gave. Same garbage is happening to GM. Isn’t this the exact opposite of what the “stimulus” money was supposed to do? I thought we were supposed to create jobs, not destroy them. Just wait till 2016 comes around. The CAFE standards will completely destroy what has been set in motion….. the end of American auto manufacturing. Obama wants an average of 39 mpg for vehicles BUILT in the US. So what’re manufacturers (foreign and domestic) going to do? Build elsewhere… more jobs lost.

  8. It’s called a divorce my friend. Your other half has decided to move on. You lose pretty much everything and maybe get to send them half your income for ten or twenty years. Don’t be unmanly and complain. I suggest you move into an old van like I did and work 70 hours a week until your health gives out. Good luck.

  9. Could it just be that the decision to rob George Joseph of his livelihood could be politically motivated? Is George a Republican, has he donated money to the GOP? Serious questions need to be asked, surely?

  10. There may be more to this stroy…. Looks like Politics have come into play on who Obama chooses which dealerships to close. Funny how Obama promotes him government as the most ‘transparent’ but has not given any metrics on which dealerships were closed, so making the closing based on political ties seems reasonable. This is why the government should not get into the private sector.

  11. We elected this President and those in both Houses. The voters have the Constutional right to take this county back. The elected offficials, that includes the President, have taken an oath to up hold the Constituion of the United State of America, they are ignoring that responsibility. Mr. Joseph needs to sue every one responsible for this action. I will be happy to contribute to the cause.

  12. Well, all of this seems absolutely idiotic. This man needs to contact a local politician, lawyer, or someone that would be willing to fight for him legally. We must also remember this country was already on the downhill slide before this President was elected. When Mr. Bush was re-elected he stated he could do anything he wanted; who cared, as he would not be elected again. Now although I did not vote for the current President, everyone needs to realize he can only fix what he is allowed to fix. Everyone gives him too much “power” when in reality he can only enforce so much. The end result is all of the crooks we have in Congress and the Senate that are allowed to represent us. These are the idiots that need to be removed from office. Most of them have their own agenda, not what is needed to represent the needs of this country. We, the American People, need to get some backbone and start fighting for what we need to make our country succeed. It has become a country of whining, complaining, spoiled, self-serving individuals who are looking for an easy way out—financially and emotionally. If we can get someone to take care of our “dirty work” then we can live that “Cinderella” life. You can put the blame on a lot of different people, but you also need to take a good look at yourself and see where you might be able to change it. It takes a team effort; one person is not responsible for the success or failure within this USA.

  13. Obama is a BULLY. A bully can only push people around as long as they LET him. People need to stand up to this maniac who thinks that the position of president gives him carte blanche with the whole nation as his personal prize. He will not stop until he owns the banks, the Unions, the Health Care system and possibly all of the land in the United States which we will be allowed to rent. We are in trouble, America. I do encourage everyone to send an email to your congressman for every concern that you have. Both members that I write answer me within a day or two. One is totally sold out to Obama; the other has a brain and is trying to work with what he’s got. America needs to Protest, Protest, Protest until Congress listen to us.

  14. I am appalled that this can happen in our country. I do not understand how your company can just be taken away from you and given to someone else. Isn’t that robbery? What can we do? Who can we contact? How can we help?

  15. Really – he bought a franchise. He didn’t buy a business, he bought the rights to sell cars under an umbrella company. Now the umbrella company doesn’t want him in business anymore. This relates to Obama how? Come on people, this was a mess waiting to happen; if it happened a year ago you’d be saying “oh, free market – let them go out of business.” In fact, many many people have in terms of GM.

    All of this sucks but if they were building something competitive to the Prius a few years ago there wouldn’t be a conversation. The entire dynamic needs to change and this is just the first step of the growing pains.

  16. For the individuals who have never worked at a dealership or franchise. The agreement between you and the Manufactor is not set up as a 50/50 partnership. Usually they’re set up that you have to do x amount of business to obtain a certain percentage in discount on the product, and the floor plans are such that you can get stuck with the product if you don’t sell it in a certain number of days. No matter what anyone says, Sales drives everything, and if your not selling then you will go out of business eventually. They never call you and say “hey this is a newer better model give me all the last year models back and I’ll swap you for the new stuff”, or “hey we’ve become over extended to our vendors, so that money you owe me don’t worry I’ll get it from you later when you have it”, not to mention they put the quota’s in place requiring you to buy x amount of product to keep the franchise, or we’ll find someone else that can do it. I would say everyone is smiling when the money is flowing, but hit a speed bump and you’ll see the hands come out looking for the money.

    I don’t beleive that Mr. Joseph is totally innocent about being over extended and I would be surprised if he has not worried about his situation for several months. This economy is not normal by any standard, and I see a dozen bankruptcy notices every week, and I don’t pretend that I have the answer to these problems. I do believe if you’re in a businees relationship with your vendors it is just that “a relationship”, and you should be willing to help out your business partners. If you don’t give help, then don’t expect help when you needed it, “what goes around will come around”.

    If your in financial trouble like many people today, pick up the phone, call and talk with your debtors. Find out who is willing to work with you and who will not. Take any help you can get, and take care of those that help you. You may have pay some more than others. There is no magical formula to getting out of a hole, it’s one day at a time.

    Last thing, look up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. You handle what you have to first, then work the list based on priority. You can’t fix everything, but it doesn’t mean you don’t try.'s_hierarchy_of_needs

    Smile, someone will Smile back at you.
    Have a nice day,

    Jeff K

  17. I believe the way something like this happens is that a bunch of profiteers sell Junk for a bunch of years and never take the time to write this kind of letter to the makers of the Junk demanding an end to Junk. Who better knew what the customer wanted than the people selling the Junk.

    My point is that a quality product sells itself, junk on the other hand, must be sold.

    I was curious about what this guy’s customers thought about his business practices so I checked the Melbourne Florida Better Business Bureau and here is what is posted on the BBB website.

    “Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of D-“

  18. BBB? Awww, jeez! Fuggetabout legitimacy, let’s Talk about the BBB. It is a Completely Profit-driven operation that all-but demands paid-in-advance “protection” in exchange for “good ratings”. A good BBB rating is PAID FOR, not earned.

    And as far as the point suggested above that “quality product sells itself, junk on the other hand, must be sold”.

    Please, my clearly uninformed or remarkably naive friend, you are certainly not on the front-end of a business. By “front-end”, I mean the piece of any business that actually generates the revenue which you so gladly take home every other week in the form of a “guaranteed paycheck”. Even the best, highest quality, products, must be “sold”. Why? Because there is ALWAYS something else out there contesting for the dollars of the buyer. eg: Let’s see: Lamborghini or Ferrari. Hmmmm… how to decide…. guess who Helps in that decision? A highly skilled, personable, likeable human. When the “sale” is made all the back-end people get to do their job, not before.

  19. I don’t see any reason to believe that Obama or his administration had anything to do with this gentleman’s problems. Where in the letter does it say that Obama is relevant to the issue or even imply it in any way? Could it be the case that this was strictly a corporate decision? Could it be possible that there is relevant information that was not shared by the author of the letter? How can one even make the leap from this letter to an Obama connection unless they are already under the control of such a strong anti-Obama bias that they have abandoned all contact with reality? A mental cleansing exercise is in order; always ask yourself the question “Do I really know that? Should I be so certain?” You will be surprised how often the answers will be “no” if you are honest. It is liberating and helps clarify the mind.

  20. Auto Dealers commit their lives into building a profitable and successful business from the ground up. I have been in this business for over 25 years working 10 hour days 7 days a week, employing many families sometimes disregarding my own. We sacrifice our own time off dealing with issues which come up daily, we show a deep compassion for the people who work for us, and never turn down a local charity looking for donations. When times get tuff, we dig deep into our own pockets to make up for losses never asking our employees to sacrifice a paycheck. We pay thousands too much for a charitable dinner, never turn down a good Boy Scout golf tournament, enjoy dropping off a dozen cars to our local high school for their homecoming event, unloading a van full of balls at our local soccer field, setting up scholarship funds for our schools, donating CPR manikins which train people to save lives, and spend millions in outfitting our dealerships to go “GREEN”.

    Dealerships are not just bought, they are built. We commit to the Factory, our vendors, our employees and our neighbors. We build a partnership with the Factory always doing what they ask us to do even if it costs us millions every few years to refit our dealership to their standards or taking factory overbuilt vehicles when they ask us to. Now they are asking us to give up our business because they are in trouble, over paying their executives, buying multi-million dollar jets, and mis-managing their own funds.

  21. Last Free American

    The problem is that we, Americans, have failed ourselves and continue to buy imported cars, computers, shoes, etc etc etc. until there are no American manufacturers of these things. The are no computers, tvs, radios, etc. made here any more and cars are joining the list. If you drive a non – American made car, then this is partially your fault. Every single time you buy ANYTHING made elsewhere, you are failing your country and your children’s future as we become a third world country. The major recession isn’t caused by anything except the failure of Americans to buy American and maintain USA jobs. Amongst the biggest reasons that the “stimulus” checks didn’t help is because we borrowed the money for them from China and the we Americans idioticly went out and stimulated their economy buy spending it on in Made in China items. Of course the checks didn’t work, because we didn’t spend it on American made products. Pretty simple that even politicians should be able to figure it out. The result of Net flow of cash out of the country to buy imported goods that is greater than New flow of cash from exporting goods equals recession, depression, and thecollaspe of the economy, which lowers the value of companies and allows them to by purchased by foreign companies. Chrysler belongs to Fiat of Italy. GM is selling units to Tata Motors of India while the parent company becomes a burden on the tax payers of the USA. Citibank is owned by Arabs. ETC! ETC! ETC! I fear for my children and their children’s future in a country without a manufacturing base. No country has been great or stayed great without a string manufacturing base. We are not an exception. We “won” the cold war battle, but have lost the real war of economics because we surrendered our ability, our will, and our soveignty to be the greatest country on earth. We will not be the greatest or maintain our freedom, if we continue to fail ourselves. To borrow a quote, ” may God have mercy on our country’s soul”.

    Paul Marcel-Rene’

  22. It is America, people, how you all can believe in this BS? No one just takes something away and gives to some one else. See the feedbacks for that business, all you read is a bad reviews!!! How naive are you? If you can not make it, it is always easy to blame every thing and every one around you… sad, sad, sad….

  23. Sonjja, your statement that no one can take something away from you and give it to someone else is not so. It is done all the time, even to you, all the time. Do you love paying taxes. It is not one of the things we love to spend our money on. However, we don’t have a choice. They are compulsory. A great deal of that money is give to someone else. Money you pay for medical insurance is the same way. Part of it goes to someone else. I don’t mind helping out those who are in need but am not eager to pay for those who are too lazy to work. What do you think this redistribution of wealth is all about? The government will take from you and give to others. During Obama’s campaign we were told that this was his intent and now it is happening. However, he kept saying and still is that the money would come from the rich and would go to the poor. Well, since most of the money comes from the middle class, that is who is going to be hit the hardest. We are not being led into Socialism as some people think, we are being led into Communism. The difference being that the government owns and runs everything and we are all sure of a job. Of course, we won’t have to work if we don’t want to because we will be paid anyway and won’t have to be skilled at anything.

    I don’t know if this car dealers story is true and accurate or not but we had better open our eyes to what is happening. The people are loosing control of everything and the government is gaining more. No matter how hard we try we can’t even find out if Obama is qualified to be our president. How can it be that no court will open his records so we can find out if he is a natural born citizen or not or what is religion is? It just leaves us all to believe he has plenty to hide.

    This was America but now we belong to China for one. When they decide to call in our debt what will we do? Maybe give them half our country?????

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