GM Spokesman Defends Dealer Agreement on TTAC

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Robert — If dealers do not sign the wind-down agreements, their sales and service agreement will not be renewed in 2010, and they will not be eligible for GM assistance. However, to date, we have 99% completion of these agreements.

–John McDonald

GM Spokesman



What choice do they have? You know . . . providing the anti-dealer cull bill ends-up unloved and unsigned on the president’s desk, as expected.

[This comment appeared underneath the post “ Mark LaNeve’s Letter to New GM Dealers Re: The New Deal.” It is the first time (that I know of or can remember) a GM official has commented on a TTAC post. We welcome Mr. McDonald as a new member of our Best and Brightest. His decision to register and post entitles him to protection under our no-flaming policy: No flaming the website, its authors or fellow commentators. I sincerely hope that this terse statement marks the beginning of auto industry Glasnost, complete with free, open and honest engagement with “stakeholders” outside the corporate walls. I will not, however, hold my breath.]

Robert Farago
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  • 50merc 50merc on Jun 17, 2009

    Mr. McDonald, it's great to have your contributions to the TTAC conversations. Interesting that in ten years the number of Ford dealerships dropped by a fourth. mikey: "Pensions slashed {60% in my case}" Holy crap! I didn't know that CAW retirees already on pension got cut like that.

  • Frankrizzo Frankrizzo on Jun 17, 2009

    I hope I’m not too late as I have a question for Mr. McDonald I live about 40 miles from a major city in the south. The only GM dealership left of 50+ years has signed the wind-down agreement. There is about is a 20 mile drive between my local dealer (who is closing) and the next closest GM dealer. Towns north of me have a 35+ mile radius to find a GM dealer. Sure the dealer was small, they were in an old (paid off, low overhead) building, but they had a decent reputation and were not even offered a chance to improve. They just got the axe. And to just to compare, we have a Ford, Nissan, Toyota and a Chrysler Jeep franchise located in my city. Who all are about the same distance from another like mfg. The same 20 miles. My question is, while I understand the cull has to happen, traveling 20 miles to get to the closest dealer for parts, warranty repair or just to look at what GM has to offer seems like a stretch. Thanks for your time and input... -Frank

  • Johneieio Johneieio on Jun 18, 2009

    Frank -- Thanks for the question. A few thoughts ... every dealer has known for years where their performance stands and everyone had the opportunity to improve their profitability, capitalization, customer satisfaction and all the other metrics we've discussed. This isn't a new idea. The brutal reality is that the market has shrunk more than 40 percent in less than a year and we can't support them any longer. No one likes this, but it is the reality and we can't hold a blind eye to it. Change can no longer be denied. After all the reductions are complete in 2010, we'll still have more dealers in more areas than any other manufacturer -- by a wide margin. For example, we'll have nearly double the number Toyota currently has. I realize that is cold comfort if you are the one driving a few extra miles to get warranty work done. And don't be surprised if the other manufacturers lean out their distribution networks too ... everyone is facing the same market. Again, no one likes to have to deal with the issues we and our dealer partners are wrestling with these days ... but we are doing it and we'll see tomorrow as a result.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Jun 19, 2009

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