GM Dealer Plans in Chaos: Reopening 30 – 50 Closed Dealerships

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

I’m having a little trouble seeing GM’s decision to reopen 30 to 50 terminated dealerships as anything other than the result of disorganized dithering. For one thing, the fact that it’s such a vague number shows that the reanimation dealer plan—such as it is—is a work in progress. Automotive News [sub] turns to GM’s Marketing Maven to explain the mechanics and rational behind the reversal: “Terminated dealers will get the right to make the first proposals, GM says. Mark LaNeve, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales, said the open points were created when poor-performing dealerships in good locations were targeted. Other points will be filled if GM discovers that customers are driving too far to reach a dealership, he said.” Needless to say, this is bound to piss-off some of GM’s 1350 or so officially terminated—rather than GMAC-squeezed-to-death—dealers. To which LaNeve “repeated his assertion that the terminations were fair and based on poor performance for sales, customer satisfaction and other targets.” Formula please? Hello? At least one ex-GM dealer’s not bothered . . .

In Madison, Wis., Tom Thorstad said he might apply to be reinstated, depending on what GM is looking for. Under GM’s termination plan, Thorstad Chevrolet must close by October 2010. After that date, GM expects to have about 4,100 dealerships.

Yes, what is GM looking for?

GM knows where “the critical areas” are in every city based on traffic patterns, LaNeve said. He described a critical location as one near a major auto mall and a shopping hub and having heavy traffic.

LaNeve said: “If there’s a Toyota store, a Ford store and a Honda store there, we pretty much need a Chevy store.”

Which pretty much says it all, I suppose.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Thanh_n Thanh_n on Aug 18, 2009

    "If this is true, shouldn’t they be cutting even further?" I agree. Very good observation.

  • Johnthacker Johnthacker on Aug 18, 2009

    Seems like since the taxpayers saved GM, there would be some way to find out the supposed formula via a FOIA request, assuming that GM conveyed the formula to the government at some point.

  • 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.
  • Ajla If Goodyear makes rain tires that allow NASCAR to race in damp conditions at longer ovals (other that at Daytona and Talladega) then I promise to purchase at least four new sets of Goodyear tires in my remaining life.