Allegedly, GM wants to replace Opel and Vauxhall with Chevrolet in Europe, and turn the bow tie into a true global brand. Apparently, it wants to do this with a severely pruned-down dealer network. Chevy dealers in Germany watch every courier coming through the door with trepidation: Every fifth Chevy dealer in Germany will be handed a letter that tells him that his contract is being terminated, says Germany’s kfz-Betrieb.
As reason, insufficient sales are given. Uwe Heyman, a lawyer who manages the council of Opel and Chevrolet dealers in Germany, thinks the reason is likewise insufficient:
“In the cancellation, Chevrolet states vaguely and without naming numbers that it is not satisfied with the performance of the dealer.“
The dealers had not received a prior warning. Several fired dealers have a market share that is well above average.
January through November, Chevrolet sold 27,095 units in Germany, for a market share of 0.9 percent. That is better than in the prior year. However, says the kfz-Btrieb, the numbers are fudged: Many cars were registered by the dealers themselves for a day, turning them into used cars which then are sold at huge discounts. In November, the market share dropped to 0.7 percent.
Worth watching: How many Opel dealers will get new Chevy contracts that are lost by funky former Dawoo-dealers. What is happening here could be a Chevy retrenchment, or, if larger dealer replace smaller ones, a full frontal attack.