Chrysler 8, Dealers 1

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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chrysler 8 dealers 1

Chrysler is doing better than GM. At least when it comes to winning arbitration cases brought by culled dealers. GM lost both cases brought against them. Chrysler bats much better.

Out of nine arbitration cases brought so far by eliminated dealers, Chrysler won 8, reports Automotive News [sub]. This week alone, Chrysler won three. The unlucky dealerships were Hinckley Dodge in Ogden, Utah, Tenafly Chrysler Jeep in Tenafly, N.J., and Midway Motors in Framingham, Mass. Out of the 9 cases that have been decided, Florida’s Deland Dodge was the only dealer to prevail.

After going bankrupt, Chrysler terminated 789 dealers last year . In December, law was passed to give any rejected dealers of Chrysler or GM the right to seek arbitration.

Chrysler reinstated 36 dealers and sent letters offering reinstatement to 50 more. Approximately 400 Chrysler dealers initially went for arbitration. That number dwindled to less than 250, as cases were withdrawn, dismissed, or settled.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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4 of 6 comments
  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on May 22, 2010

    I'm thinking the way dealers were culled has an effect. Chrysler removed the signs, redistributed the inventory and left their dealers out of business or only a used car operation or with another, you know, foreign car dealership. One Dodge dealer near me simply expanded his Mazda operation. What are his chances of getting the Dodge dealership back? GM dragged out their process and their dealers had a chance to "alter the facts on the ground", as well as keep making money to donate to people who could help them. They're going into the hearings as going concerns that have probably spruced up their showrooms and maybe even cleaned up their act, if they had a bad rep before.

  • Herb Herb on May 22, 2010

    Perhaps culled Chrysler dealers are on the sunny side of the street now. Not having to do business with a moribund company on the brink of insanity should be considered an asset. Insanity department: Think of their business plans to sell rebadged Lancias as Chryslers in the US and rebadged Chryslers as Lancias in Germany. Both brands are so exhausted, more dead than alive. Why don't they start from scratch and create a new brand called "Wolpertinger"? Nobody would know what it is, nobody would be able to spell it, nobody would have met one, but at least there would be no bad experiences/feelings on the customer side.

  • Cdotson Cdotson on May 22, 2010

    I have to wonder how many culled dealerships were members of a local chain that were compensated in other ways. In my area, there was a Dodge-only dealership that was terminated. The same chain name appears on several other dealerships, and a few months after Chrysler's BK that chain's Mazda store across town had moved to a brand-new building down the road and the former Mazda location was now a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep store. The Dodge-only dealership was clearly listed on the "terminated dealership" list back during the bankruptcy, but I doubt any arbitration case would be necessary given that the chain gained in the exchange even though the store/location is no longer a new car dealership.

  • Cmus Cmus on May 23, 2010

    It could just be that there were a number of really awful C/J/D dealerships. For example, one of the Arbitration Losers: Manuel (not Manual) Dodge in Richardson, TX had a reputation of a "don't go here" place. Lots of bait and switch sales tactics, not respecting incentives, questionable service, and at least one case that I know of, of them trying to jerk around a ChryCo/UAW employee on their personal discount. If there was ever a case of a dealership turning away customers from a manufacturer, this one seems to fit the bill.