If General Motors really wants to regain market share in the United States, it will need all the help it can get from its dealers. Although GM has been lax in keeping dealers in the loop as it created its new sales and service organization, GM's new dealer councils may be a step in the right direction.
GM is creating a new network of regional councils, divisional councils and a nationwide umbrella council.
GM will include several interest groups in the process. For example, the National Automobile Dealers Association will choose some dealers for the divisional councils. And most council members will be elected, so the councils will not be seen as GM's rubber stamp.
As GM gives its five regional general managers more control over the company's marketing, the five regional dealer councils could prove to be influential.
On paper, the new councils look credible. Now, GM and its dealers must make sure that the councils are informed and influential.