Here we are, two days after the termination that affected us, the 789 Chrysler dealers, and we all can't help but sit back and reflect about what has actually transpired over the past month.
Within 30 days, we've gone from "a unified team" struggling to keep Chrysler "alive" through sales and increased allocation allotments to the dealers on "the list" who are simply no longer needed. Chrysler has essentially dumped its inventory on us with limited to no recourse.
Recently, there's even been news about Chryslers not adding to the pain of the terminated dealers. Chrysler says it wont charge us for the holdback, finance credit and two additional advertising credits (which the dealers never actually received) when it redistributes our inventory. After all, most, if not all, of that had been "eaten up" by floorplan charges and expenses.
But all of that, I think, is a marketing game. When Ive mentioned the redistribution plan to the Chrysler representatives, theyve simply said, Read the written agreement you must sign to get our help." Their argument is that the money in question belongs to the vehicle, not the dealer. The dealers are only charged the $350 inspection and delivery fee. Rightfully so ... maybe. Advertising credits, not us. Holdback and finance credits, not really ... Its questionable, as I guess it was the dealers fault to agree to take the extra allocation in the first place to help out "the team." Chryslers got us there.
Nonetheless, reflecting, it has cost many dealers their livelihood. Many will be forced into bankruptcy. Was it rightfully so? Again, not necessarily. Against speculation and Chryslers reports to the media, many terminated rooftops consisted, like myself, of all three brands. Many were extremely profitable and very well capitalized. The key factor? They just didn't fall into Chryslers "master plan." With this, many of us must now say, "So be it."
However, it does pose a new question: "Who would now buy a Chrysler?" As a consumer, when you read articles in various news publications, you see how Chrysler abandoned 789 of its dealers, forcing many into bankruptcy. Chrysler bails out its "secured" lenders and again abandons its obligation of billions of dollars to many U.S. citizens who invested their money into the company.
Just look at the many financial sources and the billions that were truly lost. This was followed by the billions of U.S. taxpayers dollars, all for the most part gone. All to sell Chryslers assets to Fiat.
Chrysler will definitely no longer be an American company. It has branded itself as more of a self-serving company. Agreed, we have to look at the "big picture," but did Chrysler achieve its end goal correctly? I don't believe so, and I feel that I can find, let's say, maybe 788 other dealers who would agree with me, along with a few million (maybe even a few hundred million) taxpayers who would agree as well.
But wait, we must all remember that we are the people that will need to buy the "New Chrysler" product. They are counting on us all, the same American population, to revive the company under its new leadership, to make it thrive. So we again ask ourselves the final question: We all do this for what reason? Who would again invest in such a company, and why?