By on November 26, 2014

Closed Chevy Store Courtesy rekarchitects.con

In an unprecedented move that has sent chills down the white-belted spines of American car dealers, General Motors has declared nearly 1,000 of its 4,355 US retailers as “unfit and downright dangerous” to its customers and will be recalled immediately.

GM Vice-President of Franchise Dealer Relations Bentley Reuss said in a news conference in Detroit today that the manufacturer was, “equally concerned about our customers’ emotional and mental well-being as we were with their physical health when we did the ignition recall. When GM dealers berate car buyers, throw the keys to the their trades on the roof and fail to disclose products like Lifetime Tire Nitrogen on their contracts, it hurts our mutual clients.”

Reuss noted that an independent survey of recent buyers of GM products identified 988 dealers who handled the sales process poorly. Reuss was quick to point out this was not a termination of the affected retailers’ dealer agreements as that would be prohibited by state auto dealers franchise laws. “We had a ton of our recall lawyers about to bolt to Takata,” said Reuss. “We put them to work reviewing the state laws and they found there was nothing prohibiting a manufacturer from recalling a dealer when customer’s mental health was put in danger by a dealer.”

When asked about why this groundbreaking action was taken, in spite of the company’s excellent showing in the recent J. D. Power Sales Satisfaction survey, Reuss laughed and said, “You mean J.D. Monopoly? We and our dealers control that survey 100%. Let’s just say that it is amazing what free oil changes can do. We did our own independent survey which yielded accurate results.”

Reuss admitted that the dealer abuse of car buyers had been going on “for some time” but that GM senior management was never told about it until earlier this year and that the person in charge of customer satisfaction initiatives has been fired.

Empty-Car-Lot-Courtesy aldersonarts.com

Reaction from the recalled dealers was predictable. Said David White, owner of Brandywine Chevrolet in suburban Philadelphia, “Its ironic that when business is bad, GM wants you to move the iron at any cost, customer satisfaction be damned.  We’ve sold a ton of cars for Chevy and this is the thanks we get. The funny thing is that our local GM factory guy was in my office when the announcement came out and he was not told about it. It didn’t stop him from trying to sell us some of those crappy Volts, though.”

Recalled dealers’ inventory will be shipped to the nearest same-franchise dealership, with the exception of the Corvette which will be redistributed at “the local Zone Manager’s discretion,” said Reuss.

Reuss noted that their review also uncovered 28 Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Saab stores still in operation despite the elimination of those franchises in the late 2000’s. Those retailers will be terminated rather than recalled. “Those dealerships were actually showing great customer satisfaction numbers so we are sad to see them go. Again,” said Reuss.

Tesla stock rose on the GM recall news, though founder Elon Musk said, “There goes our plans to partner with Cadillac next year to sell our cars.”

If you couldn’t already tell, this is a satirical article. -Ed.

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77 Comments on “GM Recalls 988 Dealerships...”


  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Leftover April Fool’s piece? Gimme a turkey sandwich.

    • 0 avatar

      Excellent article. Missing only a four square reference !

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Well, as long as we’re making up Tall Stories, I just read this over on the Wall Street Cheat Sheet

      “Did you miss the Ford Ranger? You know, Ford’s smaller pickup truck that gave companies like Nissan and Toyota a run for their money? Well, it’s coming back, and has new suit that’s already familiar to some international markets. It may be in response to GM’s reintroduction of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, or perhaps customers just missed it. Either way, the Ranger is ready to take on the 21st century with a redesign and expanded capabilities. America loves trucks, and it also loves fuel efficiency. Just imagine what the combination of a smaller, more nimble pickup combined with Ford’s EcoBoost technology could bring the market.”

      Read more: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/automobiles/auto-business/6-potential-model-reintroductions-for-2016-to-be-excited-about.html/?a=viewall#ixzz3KGU15rfL

      Oh, wait, it’s true

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s just not happening. True it’s bonafide rumour, but Ford’s been there. Done that. Bought the T-shirt. Threw up all over it. Said “Jane, Stop this Crazy Thing!!!!”

        They’re not into having the F-150 cannibalize the Ranger in its overseas markets, nor vice versa. Each truck has its place and placement. That’s a disappointment to truck enthusiasts on both ends.

        But here’s the CarAdvice interview with Ford global marketing’s Raj Nair:

        Pushed on why under the company’s ‘One Ford’ policy – which emphasis a global strategy in product manufacturing – the F-150 isn’t made available in right-hand drive, Nair said the Ranger is the chosen truck for the rest of the world and not the F-150.

        “The F-150 is a great solution for here [North America] and the Ranger is a great solution for the rest of the world. The Ranger isn’t a compact truck for the rest of the world, it’s *the* truck for the rest of the world.”

        Conversely, he noted that the Australian-designed and -engineered Ford Ranger wouldn’t work in the North American market where customers demanded larger vehicles.

        caradvice.com.au/266622/ford-f150-wanted-australia/

  • avatar
    JMII

    Am I on the Onion News Network? Or is this April 1st?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    There’s so much BS floating around in this it’s hard to tell what’s really going on, but I’m sure we’ll know soon

    “equally concerned about our customers’ emotional and mental well-being”

    Please, and the Cimarron was really a Cadillac and a good car

  • avatar
    STRATOS

    It seems GM has bad relationships with everybody.Their customers,parts suppliers,their own dealers (currently being sued by the Canadian ones),the government.Good thing the shareholders have no quarrels yet.

  • avatar
    Pastor Glenn

    I won’t believe it until the local-to-me Chevrolet dealership is empty of new Chevies.

  • avatar

    Um…ok…

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Happy shenanigans day?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Wow, this is so weird. I googled the title to this story and TTAC is the only thing that came-up.

  • avatar

    If it’s real, I want to know where those Oldsmobile dealers are. Maybe I can still get a buy on a leftover 1987 Cutlass 442?

  • avatar
    itsfred

    I’m not sure what’s funnier – this shaggy dog story or the fact that some of your readers took it seriously!

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Steve must have the wrong calendar, its not April 1, its November 26.

    Lets see about these recalls, how do you tow a dealer? How do you put a dealer up on a hoist to fix it?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Elon Musk said, “There goes our plans to partner with Cadillac next year to sell our cars.”

    I told you all Elon was making a move to Cadillac, but did you believe me? Nooooo

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Now the clickbait accusers have some real ammo!

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I was never big on the whole clickbait thing. Clickbait is usually giving the public what it wants. Since readers are a website’s consumer, giving them articles they want to read are satisfying that demand. This is just wrong. When fiction was previously done on this site, it was always listed as such. This was presented as a normal article. You start reading and find out it’s completely stupid and has no factual value. It was just a blatant attempt at getting a click. Hey TTAC people, if you don’t want readers to accuse you of publishing clickbait, don’t publish crap like this.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Very much agree. Should have been clearly marked like the Sunday Stories were. I would have read it in a lighter tone, and not been annoyed when I was finished. The headline looks very serious, it is indeed click bait.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    At least it’s about dealerships that almost no one here was planning on visiting.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Blaming the dealers is a cop out, especially cons!dering the crap products the dealers have to work with.

    A better solution would be for GM to improve their products.

    Hasn’t happened. Not happening now. Ain’t gonna happen ever.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Yeah you can’t blame GM when people keep buying their crappy cars. And not just fleet. Where is Caroline anyways? Another problem is pickups and SUVs. Fullsize especially. The profits from the Silverado alone exceeds the GNP of banana republics. All this rewards bad behavior.

  • avatar
    319583076

    The penultimate paragraph is the best paragraph. Well done!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    WTF is this?

  • avatar
    SC5door

    Was this stuck in the Spam filter since April 1st?

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    GM should have insisted that all their dealers adopt the Saturn model for a pleasant, customer friendly store and they would not be having these issues now.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Just GM doing a little blame shifting.

    Piss on customers. When caught doing such, piss on dealers.

    Hey!! Alright!!

  • avatar
    Fred

    Everytime I heard “what will it take to get you to buy this car today” it drove me a little bit more crazier.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    Yes I don’t get it. If not eliminating franchise agreements then what is it?

    John

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      John, it has been a long-held belief that there are too many GM dealers in the US. This causes competition for sales between local dealerships, heavy discounting, reduced dealer profits, etc.

      Sales managers often are really hardpressed to give a potential buyer a solid bottom-line price for fear that they may walk and take that offer elsewhere as bargaining leverage.

      The name of the game among local GM dealers is to take the sale away from another dealer, often by undercutting price or offering more “freebies”.

      It was that way for the decades that my brothers were GM dealers, and I’m reasonably certain it continues today.

      Closing down 988 of them, if that were to actually happen after the lawsuits and other litigation that will take a lot of time to settle, reduces the number of GM dealerships by more than 20%. Sounds good to the ones remaining open!

      What struck me more than anything else was the comment by Mark Reuss, “in spite of the company’s excellent showing in the recent J. D. Power Sales Satisfaction survey, Reuss laughed and said, You mean J.D. Monopoly? We and our dealers control that survey 100%. Let’s just say that it is amazing what free oil changes can do. We did our own independent survey which yielded accurate results.”

      I know this to be true! When a GMC/Buick sale was hanging in the balance, my brothers would offer a written rider to the sales contract specifying free oil and filter changes every 7500 miles for 2, 3 or even 4 years, but never longer than the factory warranty period.

      I understand this is a satirical article, but even in this spirit, the article hits home with a lot of dealers who are fighting among themselves for their cut of local markets.

  • avatar
    BigOlds

    I appreciate satire & irony as much as anybody- really I do.

    But out of context (i.e., April 1), this doesn’t make any sense to me. And while I suspect the regulars got it post-haste, I suspect that many a casual reader or google-directed first timer will have no reason to suspect it a joke, and frankly I don’t see how that does the TTAC brand any favors…

    An explanation would be welcome.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Critical thinking and reading comprehension are skills needed to survive in the modern world – or, in some cases, to support those without said skills in the modern world.

      Your choices are: sink, swim, crawl upon the back of someone who can swim.

  • avatar
    dash riprock

    An impressive display by the “best and brightest”.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    My local Chevrolet dealership should be shut down for thinking they could sell a $60,000+ V6 Silverado.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Doesn’t matter that this is humor, no GM car will ever disgrace my garage again.

    Although, d*mn, that C7 vette would have been on my special order list.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Yes, it’s a parody. Unfortunately.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    A parody… like GM! Top work! Let’s give them more of our money!!

    • 0 avatar
      BigOlds

      Satire, irony yes. Parody, no.

      Thank you from the pedantry department.

      • 0 avatar
        Halftruth

        No.. Thank YOU. Matter of opinion.. GM is an easy target.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I agree with Halftruth, GM is an easy target!

          However, most recently, the faulty ignition switch recall took many years to ferment and implement so I wonder what awaits the people who buy GM cars today, in a few years.

          Just because GM was brought back from the dead with taxpayer money doesn’t mean that people killed driving badly engineered GM cars can be brought back from the dead.

          Badly engineered, researched and developed is the same back in the ’70s, 80’s and 90’s as it is in 2000’s and 2010’s.

          Look at Ford! There’s a sterling example of a company gone great!

          • 0 avatar
            BigOlds

            The article is satire or irony. The subject of the article, GM, could be said to be a parody of a car company. But it seems pretty clear to me that when halftruth said [it] was a parody, just like GM, the it was the article, not the subject of the article. The article is satire, not a parody.

            If the author had taken a real article and parodied it (say, by changing some words to make a serious article funny) then [it] would be a parody.

            As I said, pedantic.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Welcome back to TTAC, Mr. Lang.

    Or is that a joke, too?

  • avatar
    jjster6

    And the point of this was? I thought this was the “truth” about cars? Guess it was a slow news days.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    To paraphrase Police Captain Louis Renault: “Shocked! Shocked, I am, to find there are questionable sales practices going on at automobile dealerships!”.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Was TTAC hacked by Robert Farago?

    • 0 avatar
      dash riprock

      Farago expressed strong opinions, mostly based on the inherent weakness on GM’s business at the time.

      This is a rather feeble, ham handed attempt at satire. Farago probaly would have hit the delete button when this came on his screen.

      If you are going to have a contributor with the initials of SL, please bring back the original

  • avatar
    AJ

    LOL! I was wondering who had the balls to do that. Great story!

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    The article & pictures remind me of my local Chevrolet dealership, the only difference being there are cars on the lots and vultures on the light posts. The local funeral home has more customers.

  • avatar
    matador

    I don’t understand this, but some dealers leave their signs up when brand is discontinued.

    We have a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth/Eagle dealer in the area, apparently.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      It probably serves as an invitation for owners of defunct brands that are looking for service and can be encouraged to buy from a surviving brand the dealer still offers. I doubt there are enough Eagles still in circulation for this to be a grand strategy though.

  • avatar
    shifterbrains

    When did TTAC become the Onion?
    Beginning to understand why I only come back here quite infrequently.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    Completely and wholly irresponsible schtick masquerading as humour / journalism.

    For almost a decade TTAC was my go to place for automotive straight talk.

    Robert cut new territory with the deathwatch series. Called a spade a spade with the flying vagina. Jack led the way too.

    But this. This. This is the end of TTAC. It has now officially jumped the shark. Vertical Scope. Cut your losses and let this once honourable place die with some dignity. Not through this disservice to humanity.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    What I find most interesting about articles like this is that my worst dealer experiences by FAR were at VW and Honda stores, with a Dodge place coming a close third.

    And, unlike this article, my experiences were quite real!

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