Chrysler Rubbing Salt Into the Wounds of Dumped Dealers: Opening New Dealerships in Terminated Territories

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The taxpayer-funded Cash for Clunkers (a.k.a. C.A.R.S.) “free money” program has had its fifteen minutes of fame. When the taxpayer-funded giveaway ran out of money, the MSM went mental. Here, at least, is a stimulus program (a.k.a. bailout) that works! Now that Congress has re-upped to the tune of two billion, you can expect the story to retreat into the figurative shadows, leaving the bankruptcy-dumped domestic dealers’ media meme at least two media cycles behind. Ah, but the axed dealers are rich and reliant. They haven’t given their legislative fight to restore their franchises. Thankfully (for them), New Chrysler is giving the story a new hook: awarding new franchises in the exact same territories where they killed dealers. In other words, they “stole” the stores for their cronies. We’re talking 140 “open points.”

Parse this, from Automotive News [AN, sub]:

Chrysler’s sudden firing of 789 dealerships was more than a strategy to cut the store roster. The company used bankruptcy to shed dealerships it considered underperforming.

So Chrysler has begun appointing new dealers in some of the 140 open locations left behind after bankruptcy. The new dealerships anger some rejected Chrysler dealers, who lost their stores just two months ago.

Huh? In plain English, Chrysler’s changed its tune. It’s gone from “we have too many stores” to “you suck” with FOAD thrown in for good measure.

AN cites two dealers in its story on this Italian orchestrated back-stabbing. One “winner” (i.e., a dealer taking over from an axed competitor) and one severely pissed-off former ChryCo store owner.

Chrysler’s plan to open a point near the rejected St. Charles dealership brought an angry reaction from Wade Walker, a rejected Vermont Jeep dealer and the founder of the Committee of Affected Chrysler Dealers. The group, now disbanded, formed in May to represent the rights of rejected dealers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“They had no right to take it from the first dealer without good cause,” he says.

We can add another victim to AN’s roster: Jim Tarbox. Here’s Jim’s email on the subject:

I received a call this evening from Bill Doucette, North East Dealer Placement Manager for Chrysler. He said he has been trying to get the time to respond to some emails I had sent Phill Scroggin and Jim Press requesting that I have my franchises back. He said that Chrysler would consider me a CANDIDATE for the Attleboro Market and any other market that may be available. He said that the Attleboro Market is open and that they would CONSIDER me. I expressed to him that I am interested in getting both my franchises back. Both Attleboro, MA and North Kingstown, RI. He said that there was already a “letter of intent” with Bailey in NK, RI but that the Attleboro Market is open and if I had a building, etc… that they would consider me. Isn’t this harassment?

They just took everything away from me. I was the highest performing dealer in both locations. They take my franchise from me in NK and give it to someone else. They abandon the market in Attleboro, only to tell me I am a candidate now? Didn’t I just own both these franchises? I am still paying for these businesses. How can this be happening? Why did you take my franchises from me if you still wanted representation? Why did you take my franchises from me if I were a CANDIDATE? This is awful- It does NOT make sense? Why did they call me? Is it harassment? What is going on? I cannot take this. This is wrong! How can this be happening?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
2 of 19 comments
  • Dick Dick on Aug 10, 2009

    Now that's playing hardball. Next thing ya know, Chrysler will be dating their wives and moms.

  • Holydonut Holydonut on Aug 10, 2009

    I wonder if Jim Tarbox realizes that Chrysler as a company employs a bunch of people who don't really give a damn about him and instead care about making a nice little bonus this coming year. And I wonder if he also realizes that his government doesn't care about him either since Obama's auto-team made it clear that no one is going to trample on the decisions made by their great auto industry investments. This really isn't any different than how things were prior to the bankruptcies. Did anyone really have faith/trust in their government? I also hope he didn't have any trust in his Chrysler peers in Detroit. Dick, you know they're going after the daughters next.

  • SaulTigh When I was young in the late 80's one of my friends had the "cool dad." You know the guy, first to buy a Betamax and a C-band satellite dish. Couple of stand up arcade games in the den. Bought my friend an Atari 2600 as soon as they came out. He had two of these crap heaps. One that only ran half the time and one for parts in the yard. My middle school brain though he was the most awesome dad ever, buying us pizza and letting us watch R rated movies recorded on free HBO weekend. At the time I though he was much better than my boring father.Now with adult hindsight, I now know he was "dad who should have taken better care of his family" and not had so many toys.
  • Dave Has to be Indy 500. Many more leaders and front passes than NASCAR, and Monaco is unwatchable with the inability to pass on that circuit.
  • Jeff How did the discussion get from an article about a 56 billion dollar pay package for Elon Musk to a proposal to charge a per mile tax on EVs in California or paying increase registration on vehicles to make up for lost gas tax revenue? I thought such a discussion would better fit Matt's Gas Wars series.
  • Master Baiter Both people who bought ID.4s will be interested in this post.
  • Urlik Not a single memorable thing happened in the big three races this weekend IMHO.