Chrysler Strikes Back at Congress Over Rejected Dealerships

The Detroit News and other outlets are reporting that the US House of Representatives approved a spending bill that "includes a provision that seeks to reverse the closing of 789 Chrysler Group LLC dealers and the planned closing of more than 2,000 General Motors Co. dealers."

Well Chrysler's not taking this BS laying down. Peter Grady, VP of Network Development and Fleet for Chrysler Group LLC wrote a wordy blog yesterday trying to clear the air about why they chose the dealerships they did. The answer? It's in the numbers, and they aren't in the black. Writes Grady:

"The 789 rejected dealers achieved on average only 73 percent of their contractual minimum sales responsibility. This resulted in 55,000 missed vehicle sales and $1.5 billion in lost revenue to Chrysler.

"It represents $33 million in annual costs to the company to maintain the 789 discontinued dealers for everything from personnel to support ordering, auditing, processing of payments, and other myriad of administrative services."

"It costs the company $150 million annually for marketing and advertising for the 789 dealers—that’s above and beyond dealer contributions."

Put another way, they sucked. Grady throws in some more numbers, ones that testify to Japanese dominance in the American auto market:

233: Average annual vehicle sales at the 789 rejected dealers
692: Average annual sales at Nissan dealerships
1,219: Average annual sales at Honda dealerships
1,292: Average annual sales at Toyota dealerships

Of course who does this reflect on, the dealerships or the sloppy vehicles they were beholden to sell?

At any rate, Grady wraps it all up:

"All we ask is that Congress, dealers, journalists, and of course, our customers, take a close look at the numbers. I’m convinced they add up to a true representation of why we had to make some decisions about our dealer network that were not only necessary and tough, but, ultimately, fair."

This is bunk for Chrysler. They already had to give depositions in bankruptcy court justifying these actions. How is it Congress overlooked those transcripts?


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