Car dealer implies Nazis would be proud of Fed’s handling of Chrysler bankruptcy.
News item, dated July 1, 2009: Beginning today, auto, RV, and other dealerships can apply for SBA-guaranteed floor plan financing. The Small Business Administration breathlessly announced that this new pilot program would make it easier for these small businesses to borrow against their inventory and increase cash flow.
That’s all well and good.
If only the federal government had been as kind to other dealerships. I’m referring to the way many Dodge/Chrysler dealers are being treated in the bankruptcy of Chrysler Corp.
It’s a way that Southfield, Mich. car dealer Marvin M. Tamaroff finds unlawful, unconstitutional, un-American, and grossly unfair. Tamaroff, a Dodge dealer for more than 22 years, has fired off a letter than is making the rounds in which he claims his rights are being trampled — and it’s hard to argue with him.
It’s not that he is stunned that the dreadful car market might not support the number of dealers representing Chrysler Corp. He’s angry about what Chrysler is trying to do, under President Barack Obama’s direction: That would be to use a United States Bankruptcy Court to terminate 789 Dodge-Chrysler dealer franchise agreements, in Tamaroff’s words, “arbitrarily, capriciously, and without due process of law.” And they are doing so without providing compensation for the value of these dealerships.
Many of them are profitable and their franchisors have invested million to acquire them.
Worse yet, in Tamaroff’s case, Chrysler would transfer his award-winning franchise to a nearby Chrysler competitor free of charge.
Tamaroff, 82, a WWII veteran and former prisoner of war, compares that to the 1938 “Crystal Night” in Nazi Germany, but instead of the Nazis seizing private property without due process, Tamaroff writes that Chrysler and the Feds are using the power of a Federal Bankruptcy Judge to “trample and run roughshod” over the rights of dealers. In so doing, he says they avoid all state laws and some federal laws that are designed to protect dealers from the all-powerful car manufacturers.
Hardly what he expected out of “Hope and Change.”
In announcing the pilot loans for dealer floor plans, SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills chirped: “We want to be a partner for these small businesses and help ensure they have the resources they need to help keep their businesses open, save jobs, and survive these tough economic times.”
Tell that to Marvin Tamaroff. I ask you, is this any way to treat a member of America’s Greatest Generation?