"All you have to do is go on to the Chrysler Media website do a little historical research and you'll find surprising similarities of restructuring plans of all three failed organizations."
Not that I disagree with this assessment of Chrysler's historical mismanagement, but it really begs the question, why would a dealer continue to sail aboard a ship that was so clearly and deliberately steaming straight toward an iceberg only to be shocked and disgusted to learn it can only float at half-capacity after impact?
Some tragic exceptions exist, but it's impossible to think that one of Chrysler's first selection criteria wasn't to notice the first to grab a bucket AND the last to leave the buffet.
With Chrysler's problems so well-telegraphed, what share of responsibility for dealers' plights rests with those who decided there'd be money to be made from a fading star, ignoring the black hole it must eventually become? I certainly sympathize with dealers' losses, but to proclaim it an injustice by definition requires as much revisionist amnesia as the presumption that their for-profit investments were somehow never at risk.
Many Madoff clients made the same mistake of thinking their 12-15% returns were virtually assured while ignoring the most overwhelming fundamentals that proved it must have been too good to be true to begin with. Few, if any, dealers are "victims". Like any negative business outcome, they were opportunists who made bad bets. They weren't backing Microsoft or GE. They backed Chrysler, and the only REAL surprise would have been Chrysler's perpetual prosperity.
For many owners, owning and operating a Chrysler dealer was a terrific path to success. Until it wasn't.