Saturn Dealership in Cape to Close

Saturn Dealership in Cape to Close
By: Holly Brantley

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - The struggling auto industry claims another Heartland victim.
Saturn's dealership in Cape Girardeau will close on December 31st.  Spokesperson Jackie Dunne tells Heartland News that leaves at least six employees without a job just before Christmas.
Dunne says owner Jim Butler will keep two other dealerships in the St. Louis area open.
"General Motors hasn't laid out clear plans for the Saturn brand," said Dunne.
She explained that played a part in the decision.  
Local experts also commented on the closure.
"Businesses open and close every day," said Mitch Robinson of MAGNET.
MAGNET works to attract and expand businesses in the community.  
Robinson said he's sad to hear the Saturn dealership is closing, but he said it's too soon to tell what the outlook will be for other local dealers.
"It's a shifting of the market," said Robinson. "The industry is going to have to change the way they sell cars."

Robinson says local job losses like those at Saturn are a product of the national recession. He says locally, funding has been difficult to come by for some projects because you just can't borrow money as easily as you could a few years ago.

"But there are positives," said Robinson. "We're working with companies and talking to them about starting up operations here and in the county. That could happen in the next few months."

While it's sad to lose another business, Mayor Jay Knudtson says Cape Girardeau is lucky to have several thriving industries, like Southeast Missouri State University, and local hospitals.

Dunne says local drivers can get their cars serviced at the South St. Louis County dealership and the one in Carbondale.  Also, in this buyer's market, experts and dealers say it's a great time to buy a car, of course if you can afford it.

However, many dealers are offering huge discounts.

The Saturn Dealership in Cape Girardeau will begin liquidating it's inventory up until closing at the end of December.