By on December 16, 2009

Normally we’re more than a little skeptical of the Center for Automotive Research’s home-town homerism. But then, the Detroit-funded think tank usually has its rose-colored shades firmly in place. This time around, their findings are surprisingly pessimistic. CAR’s chief economist Sean McAlinden tells Reuters

If [Chrysler’s] market share drops to like 6 percent in the next two years, that’s a 40 percent drop in market share and they only dropped their dealerships by 25 percent

With Chrysler’s sales falling by 20 to 50 percent each month since bankruptcy, this strikes us as a very real possibility. Which means dealers hoping to be reinstated by recently passed arbitration legislation will face an uphill slog. And, according to Automotive News [sub], an expensive one. Reinstatement arbitration will carry a pricetag of between $12k and $100k. If Chrysler’s sales continue to decline in the short term, and with no new product on tap they seem certain to, Chrysler may be forced to re-think a number of elements of its much-vaunted turnaround plan.

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