After canceling its make meeting on short notice, Daewoo Motor America met with its dealers Monday anyway. Daewoo went ahead with the meeting after frustrated dealers complained.
The make meeting allowed Daewoo to give updates on some of the concerns dealers expressed at the regional meetings, said John Schuetz, Daewoo general manager of fleet operations. Since the road show, Daewoo has reinstated $750 advertising support per wholesale unit, as well as spiffs for general managers and sales managers.
It also has promised to lengthen incentive programs, which dealers complained did not last long enough for them to effectively market, Schuetz said.
Dealers had questions about the fate of parent Daewoo Motor Co. in South Korea, which is $18 billion in debt and being sold off piecemeal.
The sale of the assets will affect the rollout of new products, including the Ssangyong-built sport-utilitiesthat seem to be fading away.
But Daewoo remains on track to deliver a redesigned Leganza sedan with a V-6 engine, as well as a compact minivan — called the Rezzo in the home market — to the United States in fall 2002. "We assured them that we are committed to the Daewoo brand. But whether we get SUVs depends on who buys us," Schuetz said.
Cass Burch, president of multi-franchise stores in Quitman, Ga., hopes the Korean government will bail out Daewoo and allow it to remain somewhat independent.
"If the Korean government pays the debt, it's easy to recover if that happens," Burch said.
Some dealers want Daewoo to reinstate the factory's three-year free maintenance plan for new cars, but Daewoo postponed that discussion until the next dealer advisory board meeting Feb. 26.
But Burch has such a plan."We do free maintenance regardless of what the factory does," Burch said.
"If the factory does it, you don't get as much credit from the customer as if you are making the sacrifice yourself."