Thanks to congressional arbitration, GM’s dealer cull has been steadily downsized since The General made the decision to axe nearly 2,000 dealers during last year’s bankruptcy. Going into bankruptcy, GM had about 6,000 dealers nationwide, and it culled nearly 2,00 of them in an attempt to lean out its distribution channels. But now the Detroit News reports that GM’s North American boss Mark Reuss has said that about half of those culled dealers will have been reinstated by this July, bringing GM’s dealer count back to the 5,000 ballpark.
When asked for confirmation, GM spokesfolks equivocated, saying:
We’re not providing numbers. Those numbers change every single day. We are talking to dealers who are trying to settle cases with us. We are going to arbitration hearings. Decisions are being handed down and those numbers change every day.
The GM and Chrysler dealer culls have been deeply controversial since day one, generating opposition in congress and among dealers. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, GM’s reinstatement of 1,000 dealers could save as many as 47,700 jobs.