• May 26th 2009 at 8:29AM
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The situations with GM and Chrysler are beginning to look like what happens after a fumble in an NFL game: a dozen men pile on top of each other all trying to get the ball. The difference in the case of GM and Chrysler is there are far more than two teams struggling for the prize. The latest to hop on and shove a hand in is the Senate Commerce Committee, which wants the CEOs to testify "early next month" regarding the planned dealership closings.

Chrysler's sent 789 dealers eviction notices, GM is out to dispatch 1,124 dealers in the US and about 245 in Canada. The GM dealers won't have their franchises renewed as of October 2010, and are said to be staying in operation until they sell the last of their inventory. Chrysler dealers are expected to board up the windows by June 9, although Jim Press recently gave assurances that there will still be help given to those dealers after that date. The Commerce Committee isn't moved by either proposal, citing what it calls "the short and insufficient transition period given to dealerships for franchise terminations."

The hearings would be chaired by Senators John Rockefeller and Kay Bailey Hutchison, and will address what happens to dealer inventory and jobs and consumer needs like warranties and servicing. Hutchison was working on legislation to force automakers to give dealers 60 days notice before closing their franchises (which GM has done) or else go without government help. That legislation was put on hold after Press' letter, but now Nardelli and Henderson will need to go explain things to the principal in person.

For GM it's just one more thing to lump into the impending bankruptcy in-box. For Chrysler, every additional delay in sorting out its business situation only gives Fiat more of those pre-wedding jitters.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Obama thinks he’s Tony Soprano now- strong-arming legitimate, legal rights and claims from hedge funds… mafia-style, including union death-threats… so he could hand 55% of Chrysler over to the UAW, who donated $5M to his campaign.

      If that’s not stealing, I don’t know what is… it doesn’t matter how much you dislike hedge funds.

      Now he’s destroying the evil capitalists that didn’t support his fraudulent, disingenuous campaign?

      The White House says there’s “no evidence”- note that Hitler was careful to only give verbal orders, too… and Obama’s not new to this sort of thing.

      Obama’s completely out-of-control. But what did anyone expect with a neutered press, compliant congress, and cabinet full of sycophants?

      • 6 Years Ago
      I get confused easy. All my right wing friends are apoplectic about the D3 bailout. OK, I'm not, but I can appreciate their stupid point of view.

      Now the same friends are emailing me that letter from the Dodge dealer crying about how the free market should determine his fate not the Feds ordering (almost) Chrysler to close a bunch of dealers.

      I feel really sorry fro the guy (having owned my own business for 19 years once only to go under with a boat load of debt a few years ago, I know it sucks). Would my friends feel better with no bailout and 100% of Dodge dealers being able to right letters?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let's see. Franchise laws have created a artificial situation where there are too many dealers that auto companies cannot shed. They are taking this as an opportunity to get them to the correct level.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Good point BUT the laws did not create all those franchises, people gave money to Chrysler, which Chrysler gladly took and allowed them to sell Chrysler cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Jei, Starbucks has no franchises, all Starbucks stores are owned by the company, dealers are independent, they are in no way owned by Chrysler.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe they can send the unsold cars to be recycled! LOL!
      • 6 Years Ago
      they might as well close up shop say FU to the govent lol....are they going to be called to DC for everything thing they do in order to save their companies??? The president says jump, Congress says no why you jumped? the big 2 got sucked into politically battle lol once again where are these hearings in how those over 400 billions the banks got are using it??
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just don't understand how Chrysler especially can stick those dealers with the vehicle inventory and the parts inventory. It's totally useless to have vehicles sitting there with no incentive or warranty support. What are the dealers going to do with them if other dealers don't end up taking them? I could understand sticking them with the used inventory but not the new.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "I just don't understand how Chrysler especially can stick those dealers with the vehicle inventory and the parts inventory."

        Its called bankruptcy. Why do people think everything would come out rosey for everyone during a Chapter 11?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sounds like the government wants to have its cake and eat it too. Didn't they tell them to slim down?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just another political move by the f'n government. Just like demanding an explanation for CEO's using corporate jets to fly to D.C. Of coarse some dealers were going to get the boot as part of the restructuring!! This pisses me off.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You have to love the idiots that come on here and try to blame Obama for everything just because they are either racist or stupid or both.
      You guys complain about the money being given to the auto companies to keep Americans in jobs but not about the trillion plus dollars spent on a bogus war against a country that never attacked or threatened us and if the Republicans were in we would be spending another trillion on Iran right now.
      We have spent over a trillion dollars on a war based on a few guys flying planes into a few buildings with overall damage over just a couple of billion dollars and a few thousand lives. The number of dead soldiers now outnumbers the people dead in 9/11.
      And to cap it off, we have none of the top guys that actually caused this incident.
      By the way we just approved another $91 billion last week for war funding, I don't see you guys complaining about that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh, and Obama could have vetoed that $91 billion...but didn't since his name is on the bill ;-).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Venom, This truly is one of the most ill-informed, moronic and naive statements I've ever read on any internet blog. It's just so convoluted and simplistic on so many levels that I hope people don't waste their time trying to reply. I've already said too much and wasted enough time on this as it is.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Huge conflict of interest for Senator Hutchison, based on her campaign contributions buy Exxon and Detroit lobbyists:

        • 6 Years Ago
        The majority of "automotive" comes from dealerships. So yes your are correct, but its not likely the manufacturers she's beholding to.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This will all end in tears...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Those dealerships were going away under any bankruptcy restructuring no matter who ran it.

      Congress was told that much last November/December. They told the auto industry to go blow.

      If congress comes up with the money for an alternate non-bankruptcy plan then they should talk. Otherwise wrt the dealers, this is what they wanted and they shouldn't complain now.
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