General Motors was in the news again this week, when the Globe and Mail reported dealers launched new lawsuits launched against the auto maker complaining about the way company treated them in awarding new Chevrolet franchises.
Greg Keenan, the Globe’s auto industry reporter reported that two Buick-GMC dealers in eastern Ontario have launched suits, as has another dealer in Barrie, Ont.
In an interview with Canadian auto dealer about these latest lawsuits, Rick Gauthier, President & CEO of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association says that General Motors needs to support their more than 425 remaining dealers, and move decisively to put these distractions behind them. “They owe it to those dealers to take a leadership position and move forward with the reinvention of General Motors,” says Gauthier.
“General Motors is not minding the store. They are not focused on delivering what they promised the continuing dealers, which is a newly-restructured General Motors and going out there and telling the good news story about some of the great product they have. GM has a great product line up,” says Gauthier.
Gauthier says GM has a strong dealer network, but dealers need to be able to count on the manufacturer to lead the way and compete in the marketplace. “This is a very, very aggressive marketplace. It’s probably more aggressive than I’ve ever seen it and I’ve been in the car business for 41 years,” he said.
Gauthier says car buyers don’t want to read stories about lawsuits, they want to read about great new cars and trucks. His advice for GM? “It’s been nothing but litigation for the past two years,” he said. “Find a way to put this to bed. Move on. Focus on the good news story that you’ve got to tell.”
The only people winning in this battle, he says, are the lawyers