A two-day auction this past weekend drew over 10,000 people and featured mostly unsold Chevrolets that have sat untouched for decades. Many of the rare cars and trucks had less than 20 miles on the odometer.
The owner of a car dealership in Charleston, W. Va., sued the federal government over a mandate in the Affordable Health Care Act requiring employers offer the Plan B pill, only to realize his insurance policy already covered the emergency contraception. His lawyers just missed it.
Arbitrators have finished wading through the 105 cases of rejected Chrysler dealerships, determining that Chrysler was right to send the lots packing in 73 instances. According to Automotive News, those who weighed in on the cases typically cited the carmaker's plans to sell all four of its brands through the same dealerships as reason enough for ousting those that couldn't come up with the facilities to do so.
This ended about how we predicted. You all no doubt remember McFly, the guy that won a legit eBay auction for a slightly used Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T for $16,125. Problem was that the seller – Glenn Hyundai of Lexington, KY – felt the car was worth more ($19,700) and refused to sell it to McFly. They claim they set a reserve price (even though they didn't) and wouldn't budge. End of story, kind of.
In 2006, Ford began to shrink its dealership network in order to more efficiently align its distribution network. Three years later, it appears that the hardest hit are the company's stand-alone Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. While there were 619 Lincoln-Mercury dealerships nationwide just a few years ago, the number had dwindled down to just 357 at the beginning of 2009.
Like him or loathe him, George W. Bush's clearest, most salient speech came almost a year ago on September 25, 2008 when our Harvard MBA president explained to the nation and the world exactly how bad the economy had gotten and why so much federal money ($700 billion-ish at the time) was being hurled at America's banks. The full speech can be found here, but one little section bears quoting:
One of the more controversial parts of the Chrysler bankruptcy was the decision to cut 789 dealerships by June 9. The move made for a quick, painful end to dealerships that in some cases spanned several generations of family ownership. When General Motors entered bankruptcy, it said it would cut about 1,300 retail stores, but the automaker planned on waiting until October, 2010 to pull the plug.
Chrysler has just announced that it will 'reject' some 789 of its dealerships by June 9 as it works to downsize through Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring. That represents a 25% cut in its dealer networks, leaving 2,392 Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge dealers to carry on if the automaker is able to successfully emerge from bankruptcy with its new partner, Fiat.
Like those affected by the overinflated housing market, many auto dealers are experiencing a similar situation with their real estate. During the recent boom times, the thinking was that you needed a big, flashy facility with all sorts of extras and perks to attract customers. Manufacturers helped push the trend by offering extra incentives to dealers for interior and exterior upgrades, or flat-out demanding that some brand outlets conform to a particular standard.
The sun will set on an alarming number of new car dealerships this year, according to The National Automobile Dealers Association, better known as NADA. This has been an ongoing trend, but it's set to accelerate as slowing new car sales and the tough credit market makes it very difficult for dealerships to stay open. After losing about 430 dealerships last year, the total stood at around 20,700 left, of which 700 are expected to close up shop before the end of the year.
Now that the NHTSA has outlined plans which would require the fleet of cars to reach 35.7 miles per gallon on average and light trucks to hit 28.6, we've heard many opinions regarding the regulations. The automakers seem content with the plans, just so long as the regulations are nationwide, not state-by-state. According to the NADA, car dealers will be going along with the notion as well. Andrew Koblenz, NADA vice president for legal and regulatory affairs said in a statement (pasted after the
Yesterday we wrote about GM's intent to shrink its 14,118-strong dealer network, with one idea to combine Pontiac, Buick, and GMC dealers into larger, more modern flagship outlets. Turns out that was only part of the plan: according to Automotive News, "General Motors is preparing to make public a plan to encourage the creation of superstores in major metro areas that would carry every GM brand."
At the end of World War II, GM "put a dealership in every little hamlet" to keep up with the postwar boom. Sixty years later, in 2005, long after that boom had ended and every domestic maker was losing market share, GM had 15,094 dealerships. By 2007 GM had reduced that to 14,118 dealers. But if GM plans to compete financially with its overseas competition, it will need to shrink that number a great deal further.
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