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Cadillac dealership comes to a close
Times photo: Brenda Steurer Bryan Rach, left, and Mike Cornell look over a Cadillac brochure Thursday as they admire a 2009 Cadillac SRX crossover at Dearth Pontiac-Buick-Cadillac-GMC Truck in Monroe. Dearth will be losing its Cadillac dealership in October 2010.
MONROE - Come October, something will be missing from the 600 block of 8th Street - Cadillacs.

Dearth Pontiac-Buick-Cadillac-GMC will be losing its Cadillac dealership as part of General Motors' restructuring plan, said Chuck Dearth, dealership owner.

"From my understanding they are pretty much going to be located in the metro areas," he said.

The company is focusing on being more competitive with import luxury automakers such as Mercedes Benz and BMW, so it's streamlining operations and focusing on customers who tend to consider high-end luxury vehicles, Dearth said. General Motors believes those people live in larger cities, he said.

"They want to position Cadillac against the Mercedez-type, BMW-type stores, and the Monroe area won't support that," the company determined, Dearth said.

Technically, Dearth and about 600 of Cadillac's roughly 1,400 dealers were mailed a letter during General Motors' restructuring over the summer informing them to renew their dealership agreements or begin winding down operations. Dearth received the order to wind down, he said.

"Obviously there is going to be some changes in the industry, and time will tell," he said.

"Things will be a little different, but things change," he said.

Oddly, the Cadillac franchise was performing well for Dearth, but it was not a high-volume product line, he said.

There almost is no chance the dealership will be allowed to continue, he said, but Dearth still will be able to sell the inventory he has after the dealership closes. He also will continue to service Cadillacs.

Dearth's other dealerships will remain in business, and he is looking forward to implementing the new corporate plans and vehicle offerings, singling out the Buick brand, he said.

General Motors has begun targeting Buicks at younger drivers in their late 20s and 30s, - see the latest Buick television advertisement depicting a young man stopped at a downtown, big-city intersection as every pedestrian in sight pauses to look, with surprise, at the younger man behind the wheel - and the vehicles are taking a more aggressive appearance.

"The Buick lines are very exciting," Dearth said.