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Local auto dealers weighed in on the industry\'s current woes at a panel discussion, held June 9 at St. Luke\'s United Methodist Church by Business Connect.
Local auto dealers weighed in on the industry's current woes at a panel discussion, held June 9 at St. Luke's United Methodist Church by Business Connect.
The mood overall was optimistic, aided by Oklahoma being better primed for the economic crisis, according to the speakers.
"We're living in history," said Steve Blake, COO of Hudiburg Autogroup, adding the company just had its busiest month of the past 10. "I don't understand it. Business is good. It's seamless. Most of us are showing black ink. "
Vic Diffee, owner of Diffee Ford Lincoln Mercury, said his business hasn't been quite as good as Hudiburg, but that its inventory of used cars has "been a lifesaver."
"We did really feel it (the economic crunch) at first, but we in Oklahoma are blessed to have an oil patch," Diffee said. "We're thrilled to death to be in Oklahoma."
What the dealers aren't thrilled about is the federal government's recent majority stake hold in General Motors, and its prospect of more ownership.
"We feel good about the industry," Blake said, "but I'm afraid of the government getting involved and sticking their nose in it."
Agreed Diffee, "When you say the government's going to take that over, well, that's a little scary."
Both men said American manufacturers are making better cars today than ever before.
"We've got good product," Diffee said. "Good value, good mileage."