Thursday

Ford Dealership becomes Sorority Headquarters in Detroit

The Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has a new headquarters building with lots of parking. Heck, they can even work on their cars in the garage. That's because they bought the former Kruse's Stark Hickey Ford dealership.

The acquired the dealership, with its 50,000 square feet and its 6.2 acres of land, in October, according to Crains Detroit Business newspaper.

Well, it's good to see the dealership lot, which closed last year, isn't going to waste.

Meanwhile, to show you just how much things have changed, where do you think one of the world's biggest maker of cars in its domestic market is located? Well, the one who made and sold the most vehicles is actually Volkswagen AG. But that's not the attention grabber. It's second place.

The second place holder is in a small Chinese city that no one has ever heard of. Located in the remote southwestern province of Guangxi is a relatively small city called Liuzhou. Few people have ever heard of it but in the first ten months of 2009, SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Company built and sold 893,729 light vehicles on the domestic market. That's nearly 3,000 vehicles a day out of one maker.

The company is joint venture between Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. and GM and the city government and their plans are to keep growing by taking on the auto industry in India next.

So while US automaker executives were on their private jets and getting handouts from the federal government, and more dealerships have closed since any time going back to the 1950's, and college sororities are taking over empty dealerships, China's car makers are going like gang-busters.

Detroit? Is anyone listening up there?