By on February 6, 2013

Opel sales chief Matthias Seidl

The rebellion of German Opel dealers against a new, complicated and  – in the dealers’ views – disastrous distribution system was victorious.  Opel’s sales chief Matthias Seidl withdrew  the discredited and disdained design. “Dealers succeeded with their demands for a simpler system,” writes Automobilwoche [sub].

The nixed system was said to destroy dealer margins and to be  so complicated that “I have to hire a mathematician to understand it,“ as an enraged Opel dealer told Automobilwoche [sub]. Opel dealers threatened to stop selling Opel cars.

In the wake of the European Block Exemption Regulation, the regulatory landscape of the European motor trade became much more liberal than that of the U.S.A. Pretty much anybody can sell cars. OEM cannot block dealers from selling competing brands. OEMs can set dealer standards (under the watchful eyes of the EU), but those can be easily circumvented with a much easier service contract with the OEM. Many German Opel dealers already sell Volkswagen.

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2 Comments on “German Dealers Victorious , Opel Surrenders...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Gee. It all looked so nice in that Powerpoint presentation.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I wonder, other than appropriating the dealers’ profit margins, what was the purpose of the distribution scheme, as part of the overall master plan for Opel? They backed off so quickly, it doesn’t seem to be a key part of the Girsky/Akerson plan, whatever THAT is, but it sounds too complicated for a straight money grab.

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