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Brewer's to remain open after losing Saab

Maugansville dealership is appealing GM decision

Maugansville dealership is appealing GM decision

November 17, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

MAUGANSVILLE -- Brewer's Saab Inc. in Maugansville will not be a Saab dealer as of Nov. 30, but the business will remain open, changing its name to Brewer's Auto Sales and Service and expanding the auto brands it serves, co-owner Kevin Brewer said Tuesday.

Last Saturday, General Motors announced it had sent letters to 81 of the 218 U.S. Saab dealers, notifying them they will be expected to terminate their dealerships around the end of November due to GM's sale of the Saab brand to Koenigsegg Group AB, according to the Associated Press.

Brewer said he received the letter last Friday.

He is trying to appeal to GM to keep the Saab dealership or at least become an authorized service center for Saab. The latter would enable the business to keep doing warranty work on Saabs.

Regardless of whether the appeal is successful, Brewer said the business will stay open and everyone is keeping their jobs.

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The dealership, at 13815 Maugansville Road northwest of Hagerstown, has eight employees, said Brewer, who co-owns the business with his sister, Terri True. The dealership has been a Saab dealer for 41 years since his parents, Edward and Donna Brewer, started it, he said.

The dealership had focused specifically on Saabs, but will begin servicing other brands as well as selling preowned vehicles from other brands. The new Saabs on the lot are on sale, he said.

Brewer said he e-mailed customers about the news Monday night and had received about 30 responses from upset customers as of Tuesday morning. He asked customers to write to GM to support Brewer's Saab as an authorized Saab dealer.

The Maugansville dealership will continue to do warranty work on Saabs and provide no-charge scheduled maintenance to eligible vehicles until Nov. 30, Brewer said. Anyone who needs that work done should schedule it immediately, he said.

The business will continue to service Saabs after it loses its Saab dealership, but will not be able to honor Saab warranties, Brewer said.

Ryndee Carney, manager of dealer communications for GM, said customers who are significantly inconvenienced may take their Saabs to GM dealerships for service prior to the sale of the Saab brand closing, which is expected to occur Nov. 30. Carney said Saab Cars North America will continue to honor the free maintenance program for eligible Saabs.

Carney would not say which dealerships were notified they no longer would be Saab dealers, so she could not say which Saab dealer would be the next closest for Saab owners in Washington County. The letters were sent Nov. 9.

According to Saab's Web site, there are Saab dealerships in Frederick, Md.; Dulles, Va.; Rockville, Md.; Mechanicsburg, Pa.; and Cockeysville, Md.

The owners of the Frederick dealership, Fitzgerald Saab, could not be reached to determine if they, too, had received a termination notice from GM regarding their Saab dealership.

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