General Motors reports it's worst 1st quarter profits since bankruptcy. The automaker blames the loss on a $1.3 billion dollar price tag for recalls of some 7 million vehicles. GM says earnings dropped 86%. But the company's loss seems to be its dealers' gain.
GM is paying dealers to fix the problems with its vehicles. That has business booming at many GM dealer service departments. At Shaheen Chevrolet in Lansing, General Manager Jason Cords says sales are up 10% this year, and so are repairs. "We are up. Recalls for a dealer are good. It brings the guest to us. We try to just take care of them the best we possibly can and make them feel good about General Motors."
Cords says parts from the massive recall involving the ignition switch on some older GM models began coming in last week. The parts for are made specifically for each vehicle, so they're trickling in as customers make the claims. Cords says, "These are VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) specific, because what we're having to do, is we're having to changing out that cylinder, putting a brand new key, brand new cylinder, now that also has to match, car doors, trunks."
So far, Cords says Shaheen has processed about 200 claims on the recall. More than 30 owners have chosen not to drive their cars until they have been repaired. GM is covering the dealer's cost for a free loaner, which Cords says can be a great sales tool. "A lot of them have been in the vehicles for 7, 8, 9 years. So when you got a guest like that, they're (GM) automatically given bigger discounts and rebates and different things to these people to make them look at a new GM vehicle, new Chevrolet vehicle."