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I want to put into context my quote in your Sept. 3 article, “Dealers asked to ante up.”
Your reporter and I were discussing combining Ford’s Premier Automotive Group brands into large multiline facilities with brand-specific showrooms and combined service.
My observation was that just five years ago, most manufacturers (Cadillac and Land Rover included) were pushing for single-line, stand-alone facilities. Now that we took on debt and built the single-line, stand-alone stores they asked for, the irony is, in the many manufacturer meetings I attend, they suggest that we combine product lines into one facility.
That’s what makes me say, “Wait a second, I still have a mortgage on this thing!”
I can’t abandon my commitment to the single-line approach as quickly as they can change their strategic direction. My comment had nothing to do with adding franchises.
That being said, I think the strategy Premier Automotive Group put together is sensible. With Land Rover’s product plans and Ford’s backing, I understand why they are expanding the network. Dual facilities expand dealers’ options and potential return on assets. What could be better than that?
I appreciate the call from Automotive News. It is good to see you explore retail expansion from the dealer’s perspective.