Maine Dealerships and the GM Bankruptcy 

(AP) President Barack Obama is defending the government’s intervention in the auto industry, saying the collapse of GM and Chrysler would have been devastating for the economy and American workers. Obama said his policies will help both General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LC – storied companies in America’s industrial history survive after restructuring and bankruptcy. He said his administration had no choice but to intervene, putting the government in “the unwelcome position” of having a financial stake in the companies. Obama said that GM’s move into bankruptcy proceedings willactually improve its situation, calling the move a “viable, achievable plan.” He said the new plan will allow GM to start growing for the first time in three years. In Maine, there are about 45 dealerships that carry the GM logo. GM spokeswoman Susan Garontakos told TV5 News that she does not know how many Maine dealerships may be affected by contracts that will no longer be renewed by the company. Garontakos says performance levels coupled with supply and demand were the two factors GM officials looked at when considering which dealerships to end contracts with. Calls to GM dealers in Bangor, Skowhegan and Waterville revealed they were not targeted for termination. Of GM’s 6,000 dealerships nationwide 1,100 letters indicating contracts would not be renewed were sent out to dealerships. Garontakos says GM expects downsize to 6,200 dealerships by 2010. GM’s bankruptcy comes on the heals of Chrysler’s filing. Four Maine dealers were effected by Chrysler’s decision to not renew contracts.