DETROIT, May 15 -- General Motors is expected to announce details of its U.S. dealer consolidation plans today, just over two weeks before the automaker's deadline to complete a sweeping restructuring that may include bankruptcy.
Mark LaNeve, North American sales vice president, is scheduled to host a conference call with reporters at noon ET to discuss the effort.
The announcement comes a day after U.S. rival Chrysler LLC disclosed plans to terminate 789, or 25 percent, of its U.S. dealerships as of June 9. GM on Thursday mapped out a legal strategy similar to the one Chrysler has been using should the largest U.S. automaker be forced to seek bankruptcy protection.
One source familiar with GMs plans told Automotive News this week that about 1,000 "underperforming" dealers were to receive letters today. The letters will warn that their franchise agreements will not be renewed when they expire on Oct. 31, 2010.
The letters will also spell out how the dealership failed to meet the requirements of GM's sales and service agreements, the source said.
GM has said it plans to cut about 2,600 dealerships by the end of 2010. The move is part of a massive restructuring effort launched after the Obama administration gave the automaker until June 1 to demonstrate its future viability or seek a bankruptcy filing.
At the end of 2008, GM had 6,246 U.S. dealerships.
Besides the 1,000 underperformers that GM plans to cut, another 500 dealerships will be cut loose when GM sheds the Hummer, Saab and Saturn brands. GM also has 35 standalone Pontiac dealerships that will go away when that brand is phased out by the end of 2010.
Jamie LaReau and Reuters contributed to this report.