Aiken County won't lose all of its General Motors dealerships.
Johnson Motor Co. of South Carolina, in Graniteville, will remain in the GM dealer network, it announced this afternoon.
In May 2009, Johnson Motor was named as one of the 2,000 dealers in the nation that GM intended to cut from its dealer network. Henna Chevrolet was also on that list, which would have left Aiken County without a GM dealer come October.
"We've been working hand in hand with General Motors and thanks to the hard work of our employees - and most importantly our loyal customers - I'm happy to announce that General Motors has selected Johnson Motor Co. to represent them in sales and service in Aiken County," said dealer Duncan Johnson Jr.
Johnson said his dealership won't need to proceed through an arbitration process.
The dealer sells Buick and GMC in Aiken County. Its dealership in Augusta also sells Cadillac and Saab.
"We have not closed down, we have had new product here since we got the letter in May of last year," Johnson said.
Henna Chevrolet Cadillac is in the preliminary stages of going to arbitration with General Motors.
"We're hoping to get the same news they got," said general manager Jimmy Scott.
David Jameson, president of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, said it is good news to hear that the county will get to keep at least one of its GM dealers.
"That was quite a blow to us last may, when they pulled all of our dealerships. It did not make a bit of sense. It seemed like an arbitrary decision," Jameson said. "It helps customers that have been very loyal to this product."
Jameson said the chamber has been cheering for Henna and Johnson to succeed in changing GM's mind.
Henna currently sells used cars, but is still under franchise to sell new Chevrolet and Cadillac if it wanted, Scott said.