Earlier in 2009, GM announced plans to shut down 1,130 GM dealerships, a process it was hoping to complete by the fourth quarter of 2010. This “cutting the fat” can be attributed to the rocky economy and poor performance of some of the dealers that received the wind-down notice. Certain dealers complained (which was to be expected), leading GM to devise a plan that ultimately lead to arbitration. Well, it looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel for a select few dealers.
In an interview, GM’s interim CEO and Chairman Ed Whitacre revealed that The General would in fact give a second chance to roughly one hundred dealerships that were told to pack up and go home. He stated that the methods used by GM to determine which dealerships would be resurrected (and which ones would not) were “pretty arbitrary,” and that they were “not perfect in every way.”
The arbitration rules put forth by law call for interested dealers to provide notice by Janurary 25, 2010. A judgment by way of arbitration would then be made sometime in June of 2010, ultimately sealing the fate of many dealership owners. On a positive note, Big Ed mentioned that – regardless of the number of dealerships that receive the OK to re-open – GM bean counters predict profitability in 2010. Now that gives us reason to breathe a big sigh of relief!
Whitacre also reminded reporters that Saab is still for sale and that anyone who wanted to buy the Swedish brand should just “show up with the money.”
Sounds tempting…anyone want to go half-zies?