Big 3 retailers complain about overdealering by their factories, and the latest franchise figures strengthen their case. Chevrolet has 4,250 dealerships; Ford Division has 3,919. Toyota covers the nation with 1,200, and Honda does nicely with 997.
In the luxury segment, Lincoln and Cadillac have about 1,500 apiece. Lexus (190) and Mercedes-Benz (310) outsold both of them last year.
The Big 3 overdealering harks back to the days when makers felt they had to be represented in every hamlet. Ford once had 10,000 dealerships. Those days are gone, but the philosophy lingers. The solutions are death or disinterest. Each takes time.