Surviving dealers have a tall order

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing for Automotive News
I just sat in on a press conference with Urban Science, the research and consulting firm that often served as the factories' expert witness during the Chrysler and General Motors arbitration proceedings.

Urban Science said the factories are going to be tougher on the surviving dealers, especially when it comes to erecting their dealership prototypes and following their brand image. The research firm argues that this is a really critical time for GM and Chrysler and the remaining dealers have to fall in line and meet performance criteria to the letter.

I'd like to congratulate the dealers who are keeping their franchises -- especially those who had to fight for them. Then again, I also sympathize. It doesn't sound like they have an easy road ahead.

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