You Can’t Get out of Dodge, but Dodge Can Get out of You

by Mark Steyn

The great thing about the whole Obama hopeychangey vibe is that once again America is beloved around the planet. Well, unless you’re a Canadian car dealer:

A car dealer in Outlook is wondering what to do after being told by General Motors they were terminating his franchise. GM is chopping 40 percent of its dealerships in Canada…

Actually, 42 percent. But don’t worry, Americans are getting a piece of the inaction, too:

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…

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…

Get real, man. If you’re a Yemeni jihadist whose lawyer is now Assistant Deputy Associate Deputy Assistant Attorney-General, you’re entitled to the full protection of the U.S. Constitution. The rest of us have to take our chances. Be thankful your refurbished showroom isn’t being confiscated to re-house Gitmo detainees*.

The Dodge dealer may be a “private business” but Chrysler isn’t. Good luck pleading your case to an entity that’s 55 percent union-owned, eight percent U.S.-government owned, two percent Canadian/Ontario-government owned, with a 20 percent stake held by an Italian manufacturer that brings no serious cash or knowhow to to the table but will supposedly rescue Chrysler by inflicting on the U.S. multiple small-car models that even non-Italian Europeans won’t buy.

Meanwhile, the new GM is 89 percent government/union-owned. Nothing good will come of either of these legally dubious enforced “restructurings.” In 15 years, if any of the once glorious marques survive, they won’t be owned by these entities, or manufactured by them. My advice to the Dodge guy is to convert his showroom into an ACORN dealership.

(*Although, come to think of it, that makes as much sense as anything else.)

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