When General Motors announced a couple of weeks ago that it had completed the arbitration process with all of its discontinued dealers, the automaker no doubt hoped that its painful retail shrinkage process was over. But sadly, it was not to be – Rally Auto Group of Palmdale, CA, is apparently not quite ready to call it quits.
General Motors Dealers
A[nother] different kind of car company. A[nother] different kind of car. Apparently, as it once did with its Saturn division, General Motors is again fiddling with the tried-and-true dealership sales model by creating two separate new test programs that would potentially offer a low-pressure car buying environment.
According to Automotive News (which is citing four separate yet unknown sources), General Motors is preparing to reinstate more than 580 dealers that had applied for government-mediated arbitration to keep their franchises in the United States. For those keeping track, 580 represents exactly half of the 1,160 dealerships that signed up to go through the arbitration process. These selected dealerships would potentially be reinstated outside the process of arbitration.
Rock, meet hard place. With General Motors handed a directive from the White House to be ultra-aggressive in its restructuring in order to secure more government loans, the automaker is making cuts everywhere and dealers are far from immune. As reported previously, GM's plan to shrink its retailers from nearly 6,300 to 3,700 by the end of 2010 is going to be as painful as a Civil War amputation. Initially, General Motors will deny franchise renewal to dealerships that don't measure up on metrics