An anonymous reader sent us the before and after agreements sent to GM dealers by the post-bankruptcy corporate mothership. Here’s the controversial post-bankruptcy GM dealer agreement before the National Automobile Dealers Association intervention (and media condemnation). And here’s the controversial post-bankruptcy GM dealer agreement after they faced the dealer revolt. The differences between these two documents are not as profound as their similarities. As Casey Raskob (a.k.a. Speedlaw) points out in a comment below, “In short, Dealer agrees to let GM dictate cars purchased, the buildings they are sold in, and this deal is subject to change at the whim of GM. Now GM dealers know how we normal folks feel signing a car lease.” Make the jump to read the analysis provided by our sharp end tipster.
I’ve called Senator Rockefeller’s office for the list of closed GM dealers, promised by the totally transparent (in all senses) GM CEO Fritz Henderson during his sworn testimony to the Senate. Nothing. Our tipster agrees that the list—with pledged financial calculations—is damning evidence of GM’s zombie walk.
I would love to see it too. I hear there are some major surprises on the list. I’d also like to see the REAL forecast of GM sales in the 2010 model year. Nearly a third of the GM dealers can’t sell 2010s (save some Camaros and a Cadillac).
And what of the mysterious “throughput”? A customer of a closing dealer will not necessarily drive to a new GM dealer when his old dealer was the basis of his relationship with GM. Chrysler/Fiat faces the same issue. Five years from now and another trade cycle and we might see some GM sales growth. Meanwhile, what’s going to happen to GM’s viability and the local dealer network.
This reluctance to reveal the list reveals that GM’s image is taking a beating. The public will be hearing bankruptcy news for the next two months, at least: the leaked dead dealer list, local layoffs, etc. And then comes January 1st, when GM dealers start closing like dominoes, laying off more local people. And then GM will report a major loss for ’09. Of course they’ll blame the economy or something, as will Chrysler, while Ford finally blames its problems on on the federal government for its problems.
As the Chinese say, we live in interesting times.