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Determination wins at the end of the day for Rier's

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Persistence pays off for Gary Rier in Paisley

After a lengthy battle between General Motors of Canada and their dealers, the playing field has thinned out considerably.

In May 2009, approximately 200 General Motors dealers were eliminated in connection with the federal auto bailout. The class action lawsuit was seeking $750 million in damages on behalf of those dealers.

General Motors of Canada also settled a lawsuit outside of court with 21 of its dealers who were scheduled to be closed later this year as part of the Detroit automaker’s dealership restructuring.

The lawsuit claimed that General Motors of Canada Limited, a subsidiary of General Motors Company, 'had breached franchise laws in connection with the agreements that GM had obtained from the dealers it selected for elimination as part of the federal bailout'.

The lawsuit also claimed that 'many of the dealers had a right under provincial franchise laws to rescind or cancel the agreements and that all dealers have a right to sue for breach of the duty of fair dealing under Ontario’s franchise statute'. The bailout was the largest government subsidy given to a corporation in Canadian history.

GM Canada had agreed to close 240 of its 700 dealerships last year (2009) as part of its U.S. parent company’s broader restructuring plans announced last July when GM climbed out of a bankruptcy restructuring with $60-billion in US government loans.

The Canadian lawsuit that settled late August, involved dealers  who refused to sign the wind-down agreements that were sent to them in May.

Bud Rier's in Paisley was one of those who refused.  Many of Rier's long-time customers, in fact, signed a petition in protest of the proposed action to close the dealership.

As part of the out-of-court settlement, a number of the dealers will continue on while others decided to accept payment and wind down their operations.

The ones that will close are expected to do so on Oct. 31, 2010, as planned.

Bud Rier's, on the other hand, is one of only two dealerships that remain in Bruce County ... the other being Pierson's in Kincardine.

"We are happy we will continue to be a GM dealership," says Gary Rier.  "We are one of the oldest in Ontario and, because we are so central, our clients come from all over the province.  We have a five-year contract, have remodeled our showroom inside and out and ... we are ready for business as usual as our new 2011 models arrive!"


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Saturday, October 30, 2010