Sunday, May 17, 2009

Applegate Survives G.M. Dealership Cuts

Applegate Chevrolet, the last G.M. dealership in the Flint city limits, is not on the list of 1,100 dealerships whose franchises will not be renewed next year. (Go here for the full list.)

Slick, a long-time reader and former resident of Bassett Place, provides an update from Applegate:

Just a little update from the old hometown. Yes, Applegate Chevrolet will remain in business. We did not receive one of the doomsday letters. Of course there were a few tense moments but that didn't really occur until the 24 hrs leading up to the announcement. We got word around noon Friday that we weren't getting a letter and that we needed to order some cars.

Applegate Chevrolet was started in 1928 by Clyde Applegate and was downtown near where the current City Hall is. The present owner Jim Applegate was born the same year his father started the dealership. In 1950 Clyde felt that the dealership needed to expand and began construction on the present site which was opened in 1952. Many of the local businessmen warned Clyde that he was taking a risky venture by moving so far out of town all the way down to Atherton Road and Saginaw Street. They felt he was too far away from the city.

We remain the only GM dealership in the city limits of Flint. Isn't it ironic that the birthplace of General Motors has only one dealership? The employees of the dealership for the most part felt confident that our performance and Mr. Applegate's integrity and straight forward way of doing business would sustain the storm and survive the cut.

Some felt that our location would be a hindrance to our longevity....perhaps it worked in our favor...who really knows...it's impossible to second guess or try to predict GM's thinking. Remaining in business is not only a victory for Mr. Applegate and his employees but also a victory for Flint. I feel that is the untold story. How strange would it be for Flint not to have a GM dealership?

I think all of my associates will agree that we are relieved and proud to be able to continue to serve the residents of Flint and surrounding areas with their vehicle needs in the vehicle city.

12 comments:

  1. I purchased my last two autos from Applegate after a less than stellar experience from Serra-from sale to warranty work at Serra was bad. The first car at Applegate went okay-nothing special but nothing bad either. 6 months later I nearly totaled the car after runningn into a woman who had no headlights on-I was at fault supposedly at the middle of the night. 9 thousand in insurance later (having paid 11G for it?)-and I demended from my insurer MIC-owned by GMAC I take it to Applegate for repairs, I was back on the road but knew I didn't want to keep the car much longer. However I still have it 4 years later with only about 20 thousand miles on it. Warranty for three years expired with me only having 15G miles on the car. Since we usually buy a new car every two years (we helped daughter with a Pontiac from Delahanty in Flushing in between-in 3 years she has 80G miles, she can't be mine!! :) - we were getting set for what might be the biggest car purchase as I knew hubby wanted to work two more years and retire and he loved the Malibu (nothing less than loaded) so I was saving like crazy. Then he abruptly retired in Oct 08 and we had to order and purchase a car quickly to get the full GM discount he was entitled to. I don't finance cars-ever. But we didnt have enough saved for his Malibu much less anything else, so we quickly ordered a high end Cobalt-just to get by until we knew the pension situation (can't depend on the 401 for a long time-two years until SS too) and I financed half of the car for a year. What a nightmare-the worst salesman ever at Applegate-much less anywhere I have ever bought a car. he lost paper work, overcharged us for our plates, the whole deal was bad bad bad. We gave him a week to find the correct papers-we didnt even get a window sticker to show up what we actually had on the car-since eventually we have to sell it and get hubby something bigger and we will go to one car anyways-when we move. I would gladly have repair work done under warranty but will never purchase a new car again from Applegate. The salesman we had actually came up to me and whispered in my ear that he really didnt want to be selling cars, that he was bad at it and what he wanted to do was flip houses and some other stuff like coach basketball -he had 7 kids and didn't really want to work at his job? Before we even got down to business he tells us this. Not one person contacted us from Applegate to apologize or inform us of what was up even tho they had our phone number. We had to call over and over. I still don't have a price sticker-this actually happened at another dealership long ago and I had a sticker in a week or so. That business mcNally's is gone but never ever had a bad experience there. They need a big overhaul if they want to continue to sell cars to anyone and it starts with who you hire and no butt kissers as far as keeping people on payroll. If you are bad, out the door. Too many would like a job and would be good at it but they can't get their feet in the door or a chance. So in a year or so, I will need another car. But it probably won't be locally purchased.

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  2. I bought my 1974 Chevrolet Impala Caprice Classic (now is that a mouth full?) from Applegate when it had 30,000 miles. When they brought the car around front,the floor mats were missing. I told them they could either put them back immediately or take the car back. I got the floor mats. The manager had already put them in his car. I was only home two hours when a tire went flat. That was how my wife seen it for the first time. She was not impressed. I later traded that on a Brand new Chevette in 1981. I really loved that little car. The first G.M. dealer notified for losing their franchise was in my neck of the woods,C.W.Gordon in Coleman Michigan. I guess I'll have to travel farther now for my yearly stock up on brochures.

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  3. Baseball, Hotdogs, Applegate and Chevrolet...

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  4. well let me apologise for someone i don't even know, that had to over 5 years ago and the cobalt came out in 2005....but there are no good reasons for poor customer service. i do apologise and understand how you feel. hope your husband enjoys retirement.

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  5. My family bought several cars from Applegate over the years (including a sexy 1967 new Camaro SS Convertible that remained with us until it rusted away.

    I'm glad they will survive, I just wish GM hadn't forced them into that botched "modernization" a few years back- I loved the 50's enamel and neon signage. It was an icon.

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  6. The area GM dealership which got the dreaded letter was Victor George Chevrolet in Lapeer. This was one day after Victor George Chrysler-Jeep got the dreaded letter in Grand Blanc Township. Victor George has been selling cars since 1926! You may remember when Victor George sold Oldsmobiles until GM killed that brand.

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    1. Victor L. George (the father) had a Dodge and Plymouth dealership on Saginaw Street until 1965. From about 1940 to 1947, the bookkeeper and office manager for that dealership was my Mom.

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  7. in 1950 or 1951 was there a Diner near the dealership and would anyone know the name of that Diner.

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    1. The name of the diner was The Foxes Den and the nice lady who worked the counter and grill was Lucille. Who, later owned Lucille's restaurant out Fenton Rd. near the US 23 drive-in. She was from my Dad's hometown in southern Ind. A good friend.

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    2. there was a man who worked as a mechanic at Applegate in 1950 by the name of Leon. He went into the diner on a regular basis. Do you happen to know his last name??

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  8. a man by the name of Leon was a mechanic at Applegate in 1950, 1951 and moved to the new site... he used to frequent the diner. Anyone know his last name? He'd be in his 80s by now.

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