GM, Chrysler Agree To Reconsider Dealer Cull

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
gm chrysler agree to reconsider dealer cull

Bowing to legislative pressure, GM and Chrysler have announced today that they will initiate reviews of the dealer cull undertaken during bankruptcy. GM is announcing a “Comprehensive Plan To Address Dealer Concerns,” while Chrysler characterizes its agreement as a “Binding Independent Review Process for Discontinued Dealers.” Both firms take pains to thank Senator Dick Durban and Rep Steny Hoyer for their leadership in preparing the non-legislative conclusion of months of bitter acrimony. Culled GM and Chrysler dealers, you know who to make your campaign donations to… unless you’re a member of the dissident group the Committee To Restore Dealer Rights. According to Automotive News [sub], the group says the new plans will only allow “between 39 and 51” culled GM dealers to be reinstated. “The GM proposal guarantees that they would win every arbitration,” says one member of the committee, who alleges that the new process is based on the same allegedly flawed data the initial cull was based on. Hit the jump for the plan outlines.

GM’s plan includes:

  • A commitment to advise all Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealerships that received a complete wind-down agreement of the criteria used by GM in the selection of that dealership for wind-down.
  • A face-to-face review process for all complete wind-down dealers who have not already terminated their dealer sales and service agreements with GM.
  • If the complete wind-down dealer is not satisfied with the outcome of the face-to-face review process, he or she may elect to proceed to binding arbitration. The arbitration will expressly be limited to whether GM selected the dealer to receive the wind-down agreement on the basis of its business criteria.

Additional components include:

  • Accelerated wind-down payments to dealers consistent with the terms of their wind-down agreements.
  • A process to resolve open issues identified by dealers related to the operation of wind-down dealers.
  • Agreement to support public policy issues of mutual interest identified by dealers.
  • Agreement to work with appropriate policy makers regarding floor-plan and other financing issues that are important to dealers.
  • Additional evaluation in limited circumstances for complete wind-down dealers who purchased stock, land or dealerships from GM in the last four years.
  • Reaffirmation of GM’s long-standing commitment to try to increase the diversity of its dealer body.
  • In the limited circumstances where there are dealer re-establishments, area wind-down dealers will be given the opportunity to submit a proposal.
  • Market reevaluation to ensure GM has sufficient dealer representation across the country.
  • Placement assistance for service technicians and other dealership employees.

Chrysler’s plan includes:

  • Transparency on Chrysler’s initial dealer determinations through face-to-face meetings with Chrysler executives
  • A binding review of those determinations by an independent 3-person panel
  • An opportunity to join the new dealer network if that independent review panel rules in the discontinued dealer’s favor

The fundamental elements of the appeal process include the following:

  • Provide each discontinued dealer the general criteria and standards used by the former Chrysler LLC in making its rejection decisions and the specific criteria considered and applied to the individual discontinued dealer’s circumstances
  • Offer of a meeting with the discontinued dealer’s former Business Center to discuss the criteria, and ability for the dealer to present information to refute the rejection decision
  • Right to call for a binding independent review if dealer believes its rejection was not warranted. Chrysler will abide by the decision of the independent review panel
  • Two opportunities to join the new dealer network if the panel rules in the discontinued dealer’s favor: first, to join the new network as a Genesis (Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge) dealer in the previous market area or, if that is not possible, to be offered an opportunity to open a Genesis dealership in another market area from a list of available market areas
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  • Mtypex Mtypex on Dec 03, 2009

    I find it ironic that local GM dealers are being shuttered, even as taxpayer money is keeping GM alive.

  • RangerM RangerM on Dec 04, 2009

    Maybe we can call them jobs "saved or created"? Of course with the rest of us footing the bill, would that be government sector or private sector gains?

  • Fred Private equity is only concerned with making money. Not in content. The only way to deal with it, is to choose your sites wisely. Even that doesn't work out. Just look at AM/FM radio for a failing business model that is dominated by a few large corporations.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Lots of dynamics here:[list][*]people are creatures of habit, they will stick with one or two web sites, one or two magazines, etc; and will only look at something different if recommended by others[/*][*]Generation Y & Z is not "car crazy" like Baby Boomers. We saw a car as freedom and still do. Today, most youth text or face call, and are focused on their cell phone. Some don't even leave the house with virtual learning[/*][*]New car/truck introductions are passé; COVID knocked a hole in car shows; spectacular vehicle introductions are history.[/*][*]I was in the market for a replacement vehicle, but got scared off by the current used and new prices. I'll wait another 12 to 18 months. By that time, the car I was interested in will be obsolete or no longer available. Therefore, no reason to research till the market calms down. [/*][*]the number of auto related web sites has ballooned in the last 10 to 15 years. However, there are a diminishing number of taps on their servers as the Baby Boomers and Gen X fall off the radar scope. [/*][/list]Based on the above, the whole auto publishing industry (magazine, web sites, catalogs, brochures, etc) is taking a hit. The loss of editors and writers is apparent in all of publishing. This is structural, no way around it.
  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
  • Dukeisduke I subscribed to both Road & Track and Car and Driver for over 25 years, but it's been close to 20 years since I dropped both. I tried their digital versions with their reader software (can't remember the name now), but it wasn't the same. I let it lapse after a year.From what I've seen of R&T's print version, it's turned into more of a lifestyle thing like The Robb Report. I haven't seen an issue of C/D in a while.I enjoyed both magazines a lot when I was subscribing. R&T for the road tests (especially the April Fools road tests), used car reviews, historical articles, and columns like Peter Egan's Side Glances and Dennis Simanitis's Technical Correspondence. And C/D for the road tests and pithy commentary, and columns like Gordon Baxter's, and Jean Shepherd's (that goes way back to the early '70s).
  • Steve Biro It takes very clever or amusing content for me to sit through a video vehicle review. And most do not include that.Tim, you wrote :"Niche titles aren't dying because of a lack of interest from enthusiasts, but because of broader changes in the economics of media, at least in this author's opinion."You're right about the broader changes in economics. But the truth is that there IS a lack of interest from enthusiasts. Part of it is demographics. Young people coming up are generally not car and truck fans. That doesn't mean there are no young enthusiasts but the numbers are much smaller. And even those who consider themselves enthusiasts seem to have mixed feelings. Just take a look at Jalopnik.And then we come to the real problem: The vast majority of new vehicles coming out today are not interesting to enthusiasts, are not fun to drive and/or are just not affordable.You can argue that EVs are technically interesting and should create enthusiasm. But the truth is they are not fun to drive, don't work well enough yet for most people and are very expensive.EVs on the race track? Have you ever been to a Formula E race? Please.And even if we set EVs aside, the electronic nannies that are being forced on us pretty much preclude a satisfying driving experience in any brand-new vehicle, regardless of propulsion system. Sure, many consumers who view cars as transportation appliances may welcome this technology. But they are not enthusiasts. I don't know about you, but I and most car fans I know don't want smart phones on wheels.There is simply not that much of interest to write about. Car and Driver and Road & Track are dipping deeper into nostalgia and their archives as a result. R&T is big on sponsoring road trips for enthusiasts - which is a great idea. But only people with money to burn need apply.And then there is the problem of quality in automotive writing. As more experienced people are let go and more money is cut from publications, the quality and length of pieces keeps going down, leading to the inevitable self-fulfilling prophecy.Even the output on this site is sharply reduced from its peak. And the number of responses to posts seems a small fraction of what it used to be. This is my first comment since the site was recently relaunched. I don't expect to be making many in the future.Frankly Tim - and it gives me no pleasure to write this - but your post makes me feel as though the people running this site have run out of ideas and TTAC's days may be numbered.Cutbacks in automotive journalism are upsetting. But, until there is something exciting and fun to write about, they are going to continue. Perhaps automotive enthusiasm really was a 20th century phenomenon..
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