Lest we forget
On the subject of bailouts, Chrysler's effort to re-establish its presence in markets it abandoned three years ago is a grim reminder of the ugly, painful way in which thousands of dealerships were forced out of business.
The old Chrysler, dissatisfied with many of its dealerships, used the cover of its 2009 bankruptcy to reject 789 dealerships, some in mid-sized markets such as Kalamazoo, Mich.; Ames, Iowa; and Kingsport, Tenn., where the company has recruited new dealers.
Dealers who were put out of business lost much. But Chrysler lost sales and share of mind in those markets, which was predictable. Neither factory nor dealer should ever pay that price again.