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Updated Cadillac dealership – Click above for high-res image gallery

In the months leading up to its 2009 bankruptcy filing, General Motors attempted to shut down about one third of its 6,049 dealers that were operating at the time. However, some 1,176 of the 2,046 stores slated for closure weren't ready to quit just yet and filed arbitration claims to try and stay in business. GM has now completed the arbitration process, with 702 dealers reconfirmed to remain in business. For those keeping track, this will leave GM with about 4,500 stores as of the end of this year.

Of the remaining dealers, many will be getting upgrades to their showrooms and service departments in the hopes of being more appealing to customers. Service departments are getting waiting rooms with power outlets for phones and laptop computers as well as free WiFi so customers can get some work done (or play on Facebook) while they wait.

Storefronts are also getting an update and new signage to give them a more modern and consistent look. By the end of this year, about 1,300 dealers will have been upgraded. Now GM just needs to get the brand new Chevy Cruze and Buick Regal into those refreshed showrooms so that customers have something up-to-date to buy.

[Source: General Motors]
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GM Confirms New Dealer Network
Structured to provide best retail experience and create positive, lasting customer relationships


"Our dealers are the face of GM to our customers and valued members of the communities where they do business across America."- Mark Reuss, president, GM North America

DETROIT – General Motors today announced that it has concluded the dealer arbitration process and that effective Nov. 1, it will have a network of about 4,500 U.S. dealerships to sell and service customers for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.

The company also reported that many of these dealerships are participating in a major facilities upgrade program, with more than 300 updates already completed and about 1,000 projects scheduled through the end of 2010.

"Our dealers are the face of GM to our customers and valued members of the communities where they do business across America," said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. "We're confident our dealer network will be the best in the business. It will be the right size with the right dealers to give our customers great service during and after the purchase.

"A strong, profitable dealer network selling and servicing the world's best cars and trucks is a genuine market advantage," Reuss said.

Although GM's new dealer network is about 25 percent smaller than in early 2009, it remains the nation's largest. This gives existing and potential GM customers more choice and convenience when it comes to where to buy a car and have it serviced.

"We spent a considerable amount of time and effort to work toward a mutually agreeable resolution with our dealers," Reuss said. "We're pleased that we could complete this process in what we believe is an effective and efficient manner."

During its restructuring last year, GM offered wind-down agreements to 2,064 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers that the company determined needed to transition one or more of those brands from the dealer network by Oct. 31, 2010, when the dealer agreement expires.

Under the provisions of a federal law passed in December, 2009, GM dealers filed 1,176 arbitration cases with the American Arbitration Association to have their dealer agreements reinstated. Only 62 arbitration cases were completed with decisions rendered. GM offered 702 Letters of Intent to involved dealers, allowing them to conduct normal dealer operations as soon as they comply with the terms of the Letter of Intent. GM has reached 408 individual resolutions with other dealers, most of which call for the dealer to continue the wind-down process. Four cases were dismissed.

In June, 2009, GM had 6,049 dealerships selling eight brands, with 87 brand combinations. The new dealer body will be much simpler, with about 4,500 dealerships, with just 15 brand combinations and four brands. This provides greater operating efficiencies and increased dealer throughput and profitability, enabling dealers to reinvest in their businesses to better satisfy customers.

Reuss noted that while GM dealers traditionally rank near the top or above the industry average for customer service and sales satisfaction by third-party sources, the new network GM is putting in place would be even more focused on being an industry leader in customer care.

Dealership upgrades

GM dealerships across the country are updating their Chevrolet, Buick-GMC and Cadillac facilities to align with new branding guidelines. This initiative, which began in October, 2009, is accelerating; dealerships are now upgrading their stores at the rate of about 100 per month. Major elements of the image upgrades include customer-friendly features such as work areas with phone and lap top computer power outlets, Wi-Fi and a café area with refreshments.

To support this effort, GM is updating or installing new signs at Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealerships across the U.S. The signs feature a more contemporary design and reflect the current image guidelines for each brand.

"Customers throughout the country will be seeing a new look at the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealerships in their communities," Reuss said. "Putting our new dealer network in place is one of the most important elements in the rebirth of GM."

About General Motors:

General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 205,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 157 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from the former General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      My Chevy dealer built his current facility about 5 years ago. It's very nice and even has two work stations in the waiting area. It also has a store selling Chevy shirts, golf accessories, and the like.

      When I had my Oldsmobile, it was serviced at a dealer that started out as a Caddy dealer, before adding other GM makes. It also has a nice waiting area, along with free coffee and pastries.

      On the other hand, the dealer where my wife bought her Pontiac has been around for a number of years. My parents bought a 1967 Catalina there, and the place hasn't changed that much. The havent' even taken down the lighted Pontiac sign, and the Buick sign is still painted and not lit.

      Unlike my Chevy and Olds/Caddy dealer, the service advisors are in the service area, rather than in cubicles by the cashier and waiting area. It's a noisy and hard to carry on a coversation, in person or on the phone.
      • 4 Years Ago
      4500 stores is a start. IMO, GM need to slash at least 1500 more.
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The rendering drives home the point that all Cadillac dealers should be stand alone IMHO. Most Caddy dealers around me sell Chevy and/or GMCs, Buicks and those dealers are woeful in customer service and facilities. I am sure Cadillac buyers expect a lot from their cars and even more from the dealership experience. Even though I am not a premium brand buyer, dealership experiences have ensured I will not buy from certain manufacturers. Imagine how much more a luxury buyer would demand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is a good start. We have a Cadi dealership here in my town that looks like it is stuck in the 70's. Its just huge with outward angled glass and yeah it just screams tacky and outdated. Sad thing is the outside lot has had alot of renovations done to it in the past 5 years. Never been inside but I kinda cringe to go in and see shag carpeting.

      Also having real waiting rooms will be a big boost to. At many dealerships the waiting room for service is a mere after thought. Power outlets, free wifi, and a wide screen tv with some form of cable would do wonders for those wanting to come there after warranty exprise. Oh and also nicer seating, nothing says tacky like plastic chairs that are at the same level of those we used to sit in at school.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bah damn comment system sucks! haha
        Anyways... @anoldbikeguy

        That is great that your local dealer pampers you so and great that they understand that though sales customers do bring new customers in for the cars its the service dept that makes the bulk of the money and those service customers should be taken care of as well if not better than sales. I'm also assuming that this dealership from the outside looks current and updated and not like my local Cadi dealership that seems to be untouched since the 70's?

        Again most of the dealerships I've been in be it picking up parts for friends, or when I take them in for service, the waiting room again seems like a after thought. Only in the last several years have the upscale marks addressed this and corrected it, a only in the past few have the lower marks done the same. But again some of these other "smaller" dealerships if you will havent. Hell the dealership I work at, the waiting room consist of a wide screen tv, 5 chairs that are thankfully padded but worn, and to a point sealed in by what looks to be left over cubicle walls.

        My comment is not negative torwards GM if anything positive in hopes they'll upgrade the service experience across the brands. Be nice to see the local Cadi dealership get a update in looks on the outside to look well current.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just got to watch the Chevy dealer in my small town take the sign down today. No longer a GM dealer. They were an Oldsmobile Dealer since the 1920's and then turned into a Chevy dealer in 2004. My grandpa bought my grandma her '81 Delta 88 (which is still around btw) for mothers day from there.

      Kinda sad.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The GM dealership I take my car to be serviced had been targeted for closure. The owner had just built it two years before and spent a ton of money on it. Apparently now it will stay in business and start selling new cars again. The service department was the only thing keep them afloat while GM reorganized.....otherwise, they would have certainly gone under. So, it's good news.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone else notice the GM logo is missing from the Cadillac sign?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Losing the "GM" chiclet is a good thing, IMO.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ummm, let me know where I can get a CTS-v with those rims, hehe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      All i know about GM is that i owned a 2002 Chevy avalanche...i used MOBIL 1 and changed the oil and filter every 6,000 miles...guess what? the damn piece of metal garbage blew up at 122,000 miles...camshaft, lifter, other odds and ends, all galled and pitted...cost me $4,200 to rebuild the motor...an idiot at GM said, "must be the oil"...subsequently GM admitted that the 5.3 litre engine had problems with soft camshafts and other metalurgy...the SOB'S GAVE ABOUT $1800 to fix a $4,200 problem they created...SO I WENT OUT AND BOUGHT A VW NEW BEETLE CONVERTIBLE AND A VW JETTA TDI DIESEL( BEEN AVERAGING 43 MPG ON THE JETTA...GM? DIE! AND LET A GOOD COMPANY TAKE YOUR MARKET SHARE
        • 4 Years Ago
        I really wouldn't call a VW Beetle and Jetta a step up...but whatever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Needs more bling. Maybe they can do some kind of joint-venture with Louis Vutton or something.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The dealer experience is very important. My local GMC/Buick/Pontiac dealer where I take my car received a total remodel years ago. Not only does the building look nice, the service is great and they have a nice waiting room with a nice flat screen TV, comfortable chairs, and plenty of snacks. The last time I had my car in for service I got so wrapped up watching the Bold and the Beautiful, As the World Turns, and a little Bonnie Hunt show while eating chips it didn't even feel like two hours had gone by (or that I was at a dealership).
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