Chrysler dealers' priority: Sales spiffs
Brown: It’s not about wallpaper.
The Chrysler National Dealer Council's top priority is the automaker's ever-evolving dealer sales incentive program, the incoming chairman says.
Gary Brown, 53, co-owner of Brown's Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge-Ram in the Long Island community of Patchogue, N.Y., said Chrysler has made great strides in the way it interacts with its 2,571 dealerships.
New product on the lots and 33 consecutive month-over-month sales gains have greatly improved Chrysler's relationship with its dealers, Brown said. The biggest remaining issue is ensuring dealers are treated fairly.
"The biggest issue -- and it has been for a period of time -- is the volume growth program," which pays dealers cash when they meet monthly sales goals. "I don't know if we'll ever get it 100 percent resolved, but the program that launched in January for the dealers is going to be the most fair and equitable program for the dealers and the factory," Brown said.
Last year, Chrysler abandoned the rewards portion of its Dealer Standards program and overhauled its facilities program, giving dealers more flexibility in running their franchises. Brown said the reworked program is better for the factory, dealers and customers.
Chrysler "wants to have an exterior look that is uniform across the country, and you can't blame them for that," Brown said. "But aside from that, once a consumer is dealing with dealership employees, those employees need to take care of the customer. I think Chrysler is there to help us do that, rather than dictating whether you have certain tiles or wallpaper."
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