Leaders of the fledgling Michigan General Motors Dealer Association will personally present Michael Grimaldi, a General Motors vice president, with a list of complaints next week.
Chief among them: GM, despite having its headquarters in Detroit, does not talk to its dealers in Michigan.
The association, formed late last year, represents more than 80 percent of Michigan's 340 GM dealers. Its chief goal is to increase communications with GM.
Grimaldi, general manager of North American field sales, service and parts, agreed to the meeting after receiving a letter from the association last month.
Jim Muir, president of the association, said Grimaldi is not just looking for a list of gripes. 'Interestingly enough, he has asked us for solutions,' said the owner of Jim Muir Oldsmobile-GMC Truck in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Like other GM dealers around the country, the Michigan dealers say GM has been slow to inform them about its regional advertising and marketing campaigns. Often the information comes too late for the dealers to prepare their dealerships.
The Michigan dealers also are disappointed with GM's response to other problems, such as the confusion caused last year by the reorganization of its field staff.
'I had a marketing area manager who had never been in the retail car business,' said dealer Leo Jerome, owner of Story Oldsmobile in Lansing, Mich., and a member of the association's board of directors. 'They broomed every single car guy out.'
Muir is optimistic about meeting with Grimaldi and about GM Chairman Jack Smith's promise last month to improve dealer relations. But GM needs to deliver on its promises, he cautioned.
Said Muir: 'I don't think this is something you change with a speech and a couple of meetings.'