Cerberus Gives Chrysler Dealers Six Months to Increase Sales
We've long argued that Cerberus Capital Management will do whatever it takes to stem Chrysler's cashflow cataclysm. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Chrysler Group's new management team is giving their poorer-performing dealerships six months to improve sales or face closure. Chrysler has already banned 450 or so so-so dealers from their used car auctions in an attempt to force them to sell more new cars. The warning signals the next step in their campaign to cull underachievers from the automaker's bloated ranks. Like GM and Ford, Cerberus wants to "encourage" smaller dealerships to merge with larger ones. That said, Cerberus better walk softly with that big stick. Car dealers are protected by state franchise laws; dealer groups wield a mighty checkbook at the state level.
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