Just over 20 percent of the Chrysler LLC dealerships operated by minority owners have been earmarked for closure.
Thats too many, yet far less than the 80 percent that the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers feared would be at risk, the associations president says.
NAMAD President Damon Lester said 33 of the 158 minority-owned dealerships that sell Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands have been targeted for closure as part of Chrysler LLCs plan to eliminate a quarter of its U.S. dealerships by June 9.
In response to Chryslers actions, NAMAD hired the law firm Harris Beach LLP of New York City to represent the interests of minority dealers, Lester said.
We are seeking reasonable and just compensation and reasonable representation among the dealer ranks based on past promises and programs, Lester said.
Yesterday, the bankrupt automaker identified 789 dealerships out of its 3,181 stores -- about 25 percent -- that will not become part of Chryslers planned alliance with Fiat S.p.A.
Many Chrysler minority-owned dealerships dont meet the companys Project Genesis goal to sell all three brands in the same showroom. Thats why NAMAD thought more would be hurt by the closures, Lester says.
The dealer group was surprised to learn that some of the rejected minority-owned dealerships conform to Project Genesis, while many unaffected dealerships do not, he said.
We know that Project Genesis is something that Chrysler had been pushing and advocating for several years, Lester told Automotive News. Theres nothing we can figure out about how they did it. Weve put in a call to Chrysler to ask them.