Sunshine Dodge Letter to the Editor

Sunshine Dodge

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.

HOW IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CAN THIS HAPPEN?

THIS IS A PRIVATE BUSINESS NOT A GOVERNMENT ENTITY

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.

HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN IN A FREE MARKET ECONOMY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?

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

Sincerely,

George C. Joseph
President & Owner
Sunshine Dodge-Isuzu

This was read by Rush yesterday, I found it on PrisonPlanet’s web site. I went to the dealership website and thanked Mr. Joseph for writting such a fine letter… if you wish to do likewise here is the link to the site.

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16 Responses to “Sunshine Dodge Letter to the Editor”

  1. charliemack Says:

    Let’s see. If Mr Joseph decided he didn’t like Florida, he didn’t like the automobile business any longer or any other scenario where he was going out of business there would be no letter and his 50+ employees would be out of work.

    But isn’t it convenient that he can blame Chrysler. A good business man would be hedging if was in business with Chrysler because they have not been financially stable.

    Yet, for the sake of the almighty dollar Mr Joseph kept going.

    A good business man would question a renovation that cost millions whenever “recently” was. And, interestingly, why the renovation. Was Mr Joseph facility never kept up? Did Mr Joseph never invest in remodeling or upgrading with his profits but just used them for his own purpose?

    Businesses come and go Mr Joseph. Suck it up.

  2. scottoncapecod Says:

    Charlie – Mr. Joseph is the owner, he has his capital at risk, if, he determined that it didn’t make business sense to continue, then HE would make that decision (after a great deal of contemplation I imagine) but the decision is HIS.

    What has happened TO him AND his employees (that you offer back-handed support for, I think) is that HIS investment in the business, and the desire to continue employing those 50 people, was taken away by the Gun to the Head policy of the current administration…
    He said it best… “HOW IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CAN THIS HAPPEN? THIS IS A PRIVATE BUSINESS NOT A GOVERNMENT ENTITY”

    It’s wrong, and blaming him for his success and casting dispersions as to his business acumen by you, shows the same cavalier attitude that the administration demonstrated…

    Let him sell Fiat’s if they’re out of Chrysler’s…sounds like “Let them eat cake”…Barack Antoinette

    Sorry Charlie, I disagree with your assessment of the letter.

    • Leslie Bee Says:

      Scottoncapecod, I couldn’t have said it better!
      It would be pretty obvious that the owner invested the money in the renovation because of the demand put upon him from Chrysler in order to remain an authorized dealer. He did so by taking on a large debt that the bank was confident would be paid back from this 35 year old succesful franchise. Now, after meeting their demands, the carpet has been pulled out from underneath them.
      The question of the day is: Would Chrysler have given them, Sunshine Dodge, the pink slip had Chrysler NOT been “helped out” from We The People’s Tax $$?? If the answer is still “Yes”, they would have given them the pink slip with or without our bailout money, then why would they have demanded the upgrades that cost millions of debt to a private entity knowing that they had no intentions of keeping that franchise partnership with them.
      It is my belief that the hand of the government in our automobile “free market” or any other “free market” has just started a huge wave of problems and we have just seen the very tip of the iceberg of these soon-to-be government run or guided businesses.
      God forbid if it is ever allowed for someone to take a risk and then ACTUALLY make some money from their time and effort, hard work and commitment! If THAT happens then it will make all of us lazy people look really bad and we might have to step it up a bit! Let’s just all be equals, O.K.?? Ha ha
      Yep, Sorry Charlie, I also disagree with your assessment of the letter.

  3. Mike Says:

    Scott and Leslie could not have stated it better! I know and use the dealership and they are nothing but first rate. For this to happen in free enterprise is more than a little distressing and a habinger of more horrid “takeovers” to follow. This is scary and unwarranted. What is happening in this country is becoming more unstable on a daily basis.

  4. Delores Says:

    Right on, scottoncapecod! Charliemack, you’re all wrong! Essentially, the “government’ is stealing this man’s business which he legally owns. It has been in his family since 1974, I believe. He has good standing in the community. He has 50 employees who will be losing their jobs… and many vendors with whom he did business will be losing that business. But even if none of that was true – even if no one liked him or his business – even if no one was losing jobs – STILL the “government” has no right to steal his business, much less give it to someone else at no cost! This is just more of that “change” that so many uninformed, unthinking Americans fell for during the campaign! Have any of you seen any POSITIVE “change” from this administration – for anyone except Obama and his cohorts? No, all I see from this administration and most members of the liberal socialist Democrat-controlled Congress, as well as the judicial branch, has been one anti-God, anti-American action after another…at breakneck speed, as well!

  5. shrinkrap Says:

    As sad as this is, the tone of his letter and the fact that it is now flying all over the internet, hints that of course it’s the fault of the government. Stuff that gets forwarded to every soul inevitably takes on a right-wing slant, even when it makes no sense.

    Bankruptcy laws have been in place for years, and are indeed part of a free economy. They have been supported by Presidents and Congresses of both parties. Chrysler (a free-enterprise business) decided to declare bankruptcy and to reduce it franchises to stay afloat and be competitive. This is part of our free market economy. But there are those who will somehow conjure up a way to blame the current occupant of the White House for this, even as they also scream “no bailouts” and blame the government for its attempt to prop up some critical businesses.

    Too bad for Sunshine Dodge and its owner, who inherited what was once a lucrative business from his dad. Too bad also for the others there who are losing their jobs. Such is the way business in a free country works. Isn’t it interesting to consider how the screams of ‘socialism’ would have rung if the government had chosen to prop up Chrysler and insist on their keeping losing assets for the sake of the worker?

  6. Marc Renner Says:

    For the first time in my adult life, I am not very proud of my country. I love our people but I do not trust anyone in Washington or what they tell us nightly on the government new media. I hope the right come out in droves to vote in the next election.

  7. David L Cassidy Says:

    I could not have said it better than shrinkrap. BTW, has anyone bothered to establish the validity of all the claims in this letter. And as usual with this kind of right-wing propaganda, other authors take it upon themselves to add or alter certain claims, not in the original. I assume the version posted here is the original. For example, the email I received included the following statement attributed to Mr. Joseph: “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 a MINORITY dealer selected by the Federal Government at no cost to them.”

  8. David L Cassidy Says:

    My comment was deleted. If I offended you, I apologize.

    • scottoncapecod Says:

      No offence, just did not get around to approving it, free speech is seldom offensive and reasoned thought is encouraged. Thank you for your consideration of the possible offence, but none taken.

  9. David L Cassidy Says:

    Examine these claims. “We currently employ 50+ people ….”. “my Dodge franchise…. was given to another dealer at no cost to them.”. “This will also cause our 50+ employees to be unemployed.” Did the other dealer fire his 50+ employess, and hire none others? Mr. Joseph cannot have it both ways. If the dealership is still open, there are employess. How many, who are they and where did they come from? “A federal bankruptcy judge approved automaker Chrysler LLC’s plan to terminate 789 dealer franchises, calling it an “appropriate and necessary” step by the company.

    Effective immediately, the dealers are no longer authorized Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers. The decision to cut the dealerships “constitutes an exercise of sound business judgment” by Chrysler, which filed for bankruptcy protection in April, Judge Gonzalez wrote.

    The dealerships Chrysler wants to close represent about 25% of its showrooms, but only 14% of its total sales, the automaker disclosed in court papers. http://money.cnn.com/2009/06/09/news/companies/Chrysler_dealer_cuts/?postversion=2009060920

  10. David L Cassidy Says:

    HOW IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CAN THIS HAPPEN?

    THIS IS A PRIVATE BUSINESS NOT A GOVERNMENT ENTITY.

    These are contradictory statements. The Chrsler bankruptcy happened precisely because it was NOT a government entity. It would not happen in a Communist country with government ownership of industries and central planning like the USSR. When things go bad because of wrong decisions by the central planners, the whole country goes down, like the USSR. In the USA and other capitalist economies, private businesses fail. The result is bankruptcy, restructering and financial pain to individuals by ripple effect. Mr. Joseph’s business may or may not have been failing on its own. But, Chrysler failed bringing his business down. Maybe, it could happen ONLY in America.

  11. J Peek Says:

    I always check these things out b4 forwarding, esp on Snopes (who has nothing at this point). Yes, sure, this is somewhat of a domino effect from American auto makers’ bad business decisions over the years. I’ll give the naysayers that. However, I can hear it faintly in the background – successful business owner bad, government oversight good. That seriously scares me. Again, it’s the faint drumbeat I heard all through the campaign & louder & louder since January. Redistribute the wealth. Take away from those who work for their success & profit & give it to those who won’t or can’t. Those who legitimately can’t, I’m all for giving a hand, but our government has never been very good at weeding out the won’ts from the can’ts. I won’t pass this on until I can qualify it better, but I hear many similar stories on the news daily. I don’t begrudge anyone the spoils of their hard work. There’s a big difference between getting rich stealing other people’s money & providing a product/service that people are willing to pay for. We vote every day with our wallets, whether we realize it or not.

  12. David L Cassidy Says:

    “However, I can hear it faintly in the background – successful business owner bad, government oversight good. That seriously scares me. Again, it’s the faint drumbeat I heard all through the campaign & louder & louder since January. Redistribute the wealth. Take away from those who work for their success & profit & give it to those who won’t or can’t.” Well said, as it expresses what too many people are rallying around. Nothing in this quote is real, except one thing, the sentence, “That seriously scares me”, which is an expression of an emotion. The emotion is real, but that is not necessarily reality. Unfortunately, emotions have been exploited for too many years, mainly the emotions of fear and anger. This exploitation has been the tactic used to divide the country, not for the general good, but for the benefit of certain special interests, whether it be in politics, religion or business. I disdain liberalism. However, conservatism has embraced these tactics of appealing to emotions, which is antipathetic to appealing to logic and reason, which should be the basis of conservative thinking. Conservative or liberal, one of the most important and powerful statements in the last 100 years when Americans needed it the most was, “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself”. That sentiment is as true now as it was then. When we make decisions based on emotion, those decisions are more likely to be wrong.

  13. J Peek Says:

    David. I agree & disagree all at the same time. Contradiction? I think not. Yes, emotion is involved. We are human & unable to escape emotion. In many ways, that’s a good thing. It fuels passion which fuels commitment and change. Let’s not forget that the last election was a very emotional one in which many could just taste ‘change’, whatever that meant. Most did not know, they just wanted it. It sounded good. I agree that Republicans screwed it up in many ways. I also state that Democrats are not taking responsibility for their part & power these last several years. Yep. It’s all politics all the time. That’s the sad part. Oops, there go my emotions again! Not being mean, just trying to lighten it up a bit. Overall, bailouts have been a great big sucking sound so far. I have seen no good come of them. In fact, jobs continue to disappear at a much more rapid clip than anyone thought they would. Remember, we are being told daily that the turnaround is about to happen. Meanwhile, the stock market continues to plunge. The economy continues to bleed. This car dealer is not at fault. He ran a business as well as he could. I have not heard any disparaging remarks from his customers or employees (he is fairly local here), rather the opposite. Much like the bank bailouts, the auto industry bailouts have had little or no positive impact on the folks on the front line who depend on them for their paycheck. Except maybe for the CEO’s & CFO’s who have enough money already stuffed away to not really care. There’s some emotion for ya – well, lack of it. Everyone appeals to emotions. Often emotion & logic are very cozy bedfellows if given equal space. Fear can be a great motivator. Believe me, I’m not hiding under the bed sheets & I do enjoy an intelligent debate.

  14. David L Cassidy Says:

    J Peek, thank you for your measured response, and I too enjoy intelligent debate. You made this statement, “Overall, bailouts have been a great big sucking sound so far. I have seen no good come of them. In fact, jobs continue to disappear at a much more rapid clip than anyone thought they would.” This may be true, but how do you know the “big sucking sound” (whatever that is) would not have been worse without the so-called bailouts ( a nondecript term, not well defined). And how do you know that 3, 6, 9 or more months from now the bailouts will not have been beneficial. In other words, why would you expect any such short-term results? These problems are not simple or recent in development. There are no simple or quick answers to complex and long-term problems. The problems could stem from decisions like made in 2000 (Commodity Modernization Act), 1980 (Reaganomics), or 18th Century (Adam Smith). Or the problems may just be cyclicle and random. In other words, what goes up must go down, and vice versa. No acts, no economists, no politicians and no Federal Reserve Board Chairman may be at fault. It may be all random. But, where’s the fun in that. We would have to stop blaming Chris Cox AND Barney Frank. Sorry, I still blame people like Madoff, the unregulated criminal, and Chris Cox, the criminally or ideologically deficient SEC unregulator.

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