The End of a Car and an Era

By: Hermelinda Vargas
By: Hermelinda Vargas

Jim Roberts gave up selling Oldsmobiles when he sold his dealership to Bill Hopkins in the late 1970's, but he never gave up driving them. The Olds has been his family car for the last 30 years.

"It runs like a clock, never had any problem with it. That's one of the reasons I always bought an Oldsmobile, it stays with you," says Jim.

But Roberts’ latest Oldsmobile will be his last. General Motors phased out the brand, with its last car rolling off the assembly line Thursday.

The end of the Oldsmobile is a shock to some owners, but dealers had a little more warning. New models like the Alero represent the brand's last-ditch effort to appeal to younger drivers and increase its sales.

Dealer Bill Hopkins says he's not happy with GM's decision, but he understands it.

“You had your foreign car competition that had the appeal more to the younger people than to the older people, so it was just too little, too late," says Hopkins.

The man who sold him the dealership back in the 70's also understands the economic reasoning behind the decision, but he still thinks GM is making a big mistake.

"I wouldn't hesitate to get in that Oldsmobile today and go to Michigan. It's that dependable."

Roberts says he would protest the end of the Oldsmobile if he thought it would make a difference.

General Motors is hoping Oldsmobile owners will stay with the corporation, buying cars from the company's Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick or Cadillac lines.


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