Dennis McCartney, a Pennsylvania dealer who last year reported to us how a PennDOT decision regarding Chinese scooters was forcing dealers to close, has gone out of business himself.
“We have been forced to close our business and file Chapter 7 both on the business [CBXman Motorcycles in Edwardsville] and personally,” McCartney said in an e-mail to colleagues. “We have lost everything, and at the ripe old age of 56, I now must find a job.
“We gave it our best shot and tried everything we could think of to generate revenue,” he continued, “but the recession and lack of any government support killed our business.
“In addition, last fall PennDOT withdrew its approval for us to issue license plates for any China-made vehicle, which impacted all Pennsylvania dealers of China-made motorcycles and motorscooters, and this hurt us. The other dealers locally got wind of this in early 2009 and began telling consumers not to shop here because we couldn't issue plates. We had to send our paperwork to Harrisburg, and the consumers had to wait three weeks for the plates. And as you can imagine, people wouldn't wait.”
McCartney said the final blow to his seven-year-old business came in February 2009 when the CPSIA lead law forbid dealers to sell most youth ATVs and dirtbikes due to their lead content. The law also forbid the sale of related parts.
“That killed sales of an important segment of our business,” he said, “as if the recession wasn’t enough.”