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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chrysler's Dealer Destruction Hits Home

One of the Chrysler dealers on the dealer closing list that Chrysler filed with the bankruptcy court today is Birmingham Chrysler Jeep, known for its odd jingle, "Birmingham's In Troy!". This dealership is not far from my house. It is a corner store in the sprawling Troy Motor Mall, a huge collection of different car dealerships.

Sunset In Troy

BCJ was, according to this news article, in the top 20 dealerships in the country. It has been owned by the Mealey family since 1966, and employs 90 people. BCJ is known in the area for its fun, corny advertising, such as this spot where the owner snow blows his lot and rides around on a lawn tractor.

I wasn't expecting Birmingham Chrysler Jeep to close. I thought Chrysler/Fiat would want a slot in the Troy Motor Mall, where they could compete directly against the other brands, just yards away. But the massive Golling dealership in nearby Bloomfield Hills, which was chosen to stay open, sells all three Chrysler brands from one huge lot.

I know people who work at this dealership. This morning, when they got the news that they were expected to close, 40 employees were laid off all at once. All around the country, the same scene was repeated today. All around the country, people are tasting the salty, metallic flavor of failure.

1 comment:

TheCarCzar said...

For a fascinating insight on this evolving story, please use the link below to see what’s happening at Chrysler in real time at:

From twitter:

1. Question: can dealer contest? Press: No appeal process less than 20 seconds ago from web

2. Press: in some cases you’ll now have dealer with Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep under one roof.less than a minute ago from web

3. Question: Any areas that won’t be represented? Landry: Can’t think of one2 minutes ago from web

4. Question: Did you look at profitability? Landry: We stayed away from looking at profitability and working capital3 minutes ago from web

5. Question: Does this change where your biggest presence is? Fairness on redistribution? Landry: We’ll have an organized approach.6 minutes ago from web

6. Landry: No plans of (inventory) going to auction. Press: Sales are running ahead of plan.12 minutes ago from web

7. Question: How much inventory with rejected inventory and how much will move? Landry: 44,000 units.13 minutes ago from web

8. Landry: We really are working towards a new car company.14 minutes ago from web

9. Landry; We’ll work with dealers on their parts inventory. One dealer can buy parts from another14 minutes ago from web

10. Landry: Work with rejected dealers to redistribute their inventory16 minutes ago from web

11. Landry: All of dealers being rejected…we’ll work with them..servicing them the same way..will pay incentives…service16 minutes ago from web

12. Landry; My stomach still has a wrench in it today18 minutes ago from web

13. Landry: This has been a gut wrenching process18 minutes ago from web

14. Landry: We looked at minimum sales responsibility and scorecard. As of this week 62 percent of brands consol (CNX 34.39 ↓4.02%). under one roof.19 minutes ago from web

15. Landry: It allows us to look at all of our dealer network and area where we’re underperforming.20 minutes ago from web

16. Steven Landry, Exec. VP North Am. Sales & Marketing, Global Svc. & Parts: There’s no enough business for dealers with high…costs20 minutes ago from web

17. Press: Dealer body is a key and will be strong and powerful.23 minutes ago from web

18. Press: Allow us to achieve maximum prosperity and growth23 minutes ago from web

19. Press:We hae a sense of sadness because we have to take these steps24 minutes ago from web

20. Press: Process was rigorous25 minutes ago from web

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