Dalgeish Cadillac-Oldsmobile LLC — a dealer that operated in midtown Detroit for 55 years until closing its doors in early 2010 — is suing General Motors, asserting that the automaker pressured them into not choosing to arbitrate. The store was one of the approximately 1,300 dealerships earmarked for closure by GM as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.
In a lawsuit filed last month and moved to the U.S. District Court this week, Dalgeish claims that GM’s regional zone manager said that the store would “lose money” if it chose to file for arbitration. The dealership therefore decided against doing so by the January 25, 2010 deadline.
Plaintiff lawyer John Alexander claims that if the dealership “opted for arbitration, they would have clearly prevailed.”
60 people lost their jobs due to closing of the dealership; the building, which was part of the original Cadillac plant complex designed by Albert Kahn in the 1920s, was purchased by Tech Town — the Wayne State University-run business incubator. The facility contains original terrazzo floors imported from Italy.
General Motors originally aimed to cut 2,000 stores in the U.S. during its bankruptcy reorganization, but was forced to restore 700 during Congressionally-mandated arbitration hearings. In June 2009, the automaker’s dealer count stood at 6,049; on September 30, 2010 — at 5,000. Today, GM has approximately 4,500 dealers in the United States.