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.
A little more than a year ago, General Motors had in excess of 6,000 dealerships across the country. In the viability plan GM submitted to Congress the automaker stated it would shut down 400 dealerships every year, shedding 1,600 of them by 2012. The General said it eventually wanted to get down to 4,000 showrooms at some point in the future. According the the latest reports, GM is well ahead of its own schedule: it will have just 4,500 dealership by the end of this year, a 1,650-site drop from
Citing "three people who know about the discussions," BusinessWeek reports that General Motors is ruminating whether or not to build a high-zoot showroom in Manhattan to gain favor among "high-fashion New Yorkers, tourists and high-rolling investors." The stated aim would be to raise awareness and cachet of the company's four brands as the IPO machine moves to the next gear. And who knows, it might also increase the 9.6% market share that The General commands in the NY metro area.
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.
We have no proof that General Motors is getting payback on the three dealers who founded the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights (CRDR), Tammy Darvish, Jack Fitzgerald and Alan Spitzer. But we do know that retribution is a game often played by all sides, and that Darvish, Fitzgerald and Spitzer definitely believe GM has taken the first shot.
Cadillac XTS Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery
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.
General Motors and Chrysler dealers unsuccessful in government-mediated arbitration to save their franchises from closure are being thrown a potential life saver. This one, however, doesn't say U.S.S. Government on it, but rather, U.S.S. Sears Auto Center. The nationwide retailer want to expands its Auto Center operations that focus on service and sales and dealers with physical plants but nothing to put in them might be a workable option.
Coming out of bankruptcy with four fewer brands, General Motors wants to help its dealers present a fresh face to the public. So it's offering dealers a deal of its own: remodel your dealerships and GM will help pay for it. Ah, but just like a clever salesman, GM has a few conditions on its offer. For one, any dealer in the business of selling new cars other than GM models must separate them from The General's products. Also, while the renovations should take about three years, GM won't be sendi
Back in May, General Motors announced plans to close down a large portion of its dealership network. Since then, a number of those franchisees have lodged complaints to both the automaker itself and appropriate policymakers, leading to possible legislation on how GM is allowed to handle the closing of dealerships. This being the case, The General is proactively drafting a new set of rules as to how it will deal with these to-be-shuttered dealerships, and it promises that some are likely to be re
Holdiman Motor terminated dealer plea - click above image to watch the video
Buick Enclave - Click above for high-res image gallery
Cadillac is one of the core brands that will form the new General Motors, but the dealership network can't continue in its current guise, according to GM sales head Mark LaNeve. There are 1,422 Cadillac dealers nationwide, more than four times the number of Mercedes-Benz dealers and more than six times the number of Lexus dealers. That kind of saturation meant that in 2008, the average Cadillac dealership did one-sixth the business of a Mercedes dealer and one-tenth the business of a Lexus deale
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
June 1, 2009 is turning into the equivalent of General Motors' D-Day, and every day seems to bring new events that are being planned in advance of it. GM had more than 6,000 dealerships at the end of last year, and in the initial viability plan it offered to the government, the automaker pledged to close 25% of those over the next five years. As with the rest of the plan, the Auto Task Force said "That isn't enough."
Dealership rationalization was something General Motors was looking at well before the economy went pear-shaped. GM still has more than 6,300 dealerships in the U.S., and it is even more important now to start shedding some of that financial burden. That is why The General told dealers at the NADA conference that it plans to get rid of 1,600 dealerships by 2012.
From November 28 to December 11, GM is holding back incentive payments to dealers, including dealer cash and customer cash. Why? in the words of Mark LaNeve, GM's VP of North American sales, because "Anytime you can delay any kind of a payment, it helps cash flow" And cash is probably the most important four-letter word in any GM dictionary.
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.