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Florida GM dealership fighting shutdown plan

Craig Zinn fondly remembers the day nearly 15 years ago when legendary car man Jim Moran sold him the JM Pontiac store on 441 in Hollywood.

"I dreamed of being a Pontiac dealer," Zinn said. "To have that dream fulfilled was almost as good a day as when my son was born."

Soon, all Zinn may have from his affiliation with Pontiac are the memories. Zinn's Pines Pontiac GMC Buick store, which moved to Pembroke Pines a decade ago, was among 1,100 dealerships notified by General Motors that they'd be cut loose in October 2010.

GM is weeding out those dealership that are "in most cases hurting, losing money [or] in danger of going out of business anyway," said Mark LeNeve, the carmaker's vice president of sales, service and marketing, in a conference call with reporters last week.

Zinn, 51, said he's far from being one of the weak links in GM's battered retail network. Rather, he said, he has outsold many of the Pontiac, GMC and Buick stores in South Florida and the rest of the state that are not on the chopping block.

Zinn produced as proof what he said were composite reports showing vehicle-sales figures from March for Pontiac, GMC and Buick dealerships across Florida. GM, he added, regularly sends him the hottest-selling nameplates, like the Buick Enclave, because his store "has earned them."

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