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Service department expected to close June 1 at Wadena GM

Service personnel at Wadena GM have been told that the business will be closing June 1.

Wadena GM service advisor Jason Ostlund indicated Monday afternoon that personnel at Wadena GM have received no information to the contrary since last Wednesday.

Many Wadena GM customers have been arranging for warranty work on their vehicles so the service department has remained busy.

The sales department at Wadena GM was closed at 11:30 a.m. last Wednesday. The general manager, Dan Johnson, and the sales manager, Joe Altricher, are no longer with the business. Only the service department remains open.

Wadena GM is owned by Roger Dondelinger of Brainerd. It has been reported that Dondelinger is also closing dealerships in Little Falls and Pine River. His Brainerd dealership will remain open. Dondelinger has not returned phone calls to the Pioneer Journal to clear up conflicting reports in the media regarding his dealerships. The Pioneer Journal received information last week from Altricher that the Wadena dealership would break ties with General Motors and continue as Wadena Auto Mall, but Altricher was no longer with the company days later.

General Motors, which has received billions in bailout money from the federal government, intends to close 1,500 dealerships around the United States as they attempt to cope with poor sales triggered by a struggling national economy.

Approximately 20 people worked at Wadena GM until last week. While the Dondelinger family has owned Wadena GM since the early 1990s, the business has actually been part of the Wadena community for decades under different management groups.