Some car dealers are missing the bad old times when Detroit was preoccupied with problems at home. Carmakers again have the bandwidth to look at “the channel,” and some don’t like what they see. Suddenly, dealers find themselves at the receiving end of harsh criticism. Both Chrysler and GM dealers are receiving a derriere chewing.
Jeep, Ram and Dodge landed at the very bottom of the latest J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) index. Sergio Marchionne is not amused and tells dealer to shape up. “We’re not top league”, Marchionne told Automotive News. “We moved up. But that’s not true of the customer interface. We’re doing well, the dealers are doing well, but they’re not doing well with the customers.” Dealers blame the fact that Chrylser no longer rewards dealers for meeting company standards. Dealerships that were up to snuff could collect up to $200,000 per quarter. With the program suspended, dealers must excel for free.
GM has another problem: GM dealers are ordering too many cars. Automotive News [sub] reports that “General Motors is cracking down on dealers who it says are “gaming” its vehicle-ordering system to finagle more cars and trucks than they deserve.” GM says it has uncovered “significant ordering and reporting abuses” by dealers who are trying to get more cars than they deserve. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t. In the olden days, dealers were drowned in cars they had not ordered, now they get rapped for ordering too many cars.