Car dealer settles lawsuit; gets back its GM dealership status

Robinson Pon­tiac Buick GMC is now firmly back in the General Motors fold with its dealership rein­stated.

GM Canada, which emerg­ed from bankruptcy protection recently and announced plans for an initial public offering, had planned to cut more than  a third of its Canadian dealer­ships by October to reduce costs and streamline its busi­ness.

That caused 21 dealerships from across Canada to  launch a lawsuit against GM. It had  ordered more than 250 of them to wind down operations in May 2009.  It also planned to eliminate about 1,100 dealer­ships in the United States.

As part of the out of court settlement of the lawsuit, a number of dealers will continue as GM dealerships, while others that took a cash buyout will shut down by October.

Robinson was one of many companies stripped of its deal­ership when General Mot­ors had financial diffi­culties. It joined 20 other deal­ers in the lawsuit.

Owner Cindy Robinson said in an interview that she is very pleased to get back the GM dealership that has been in her family for decades.

“We’re very relieved and excited to go forward,” she said.

She said despite the friction between GM and the 21 dealers involved in the lawsuit, GM treated her company well over that time. She said GM service to Robinson has been good “all along. We sell and service GM vehicles so it’s good for us and good for them.”

She did note that the Pontiac portion of the name will disappear as GM elimi­nated that vehicle as part of its restructuring. She said, though, Robinson will continue to ser­vice those cars.

Robinson was the only deal­er in this area to take part in the class action lawsuit and so the only one to be reinstated as a GM dealer.