Chrysler Group and its surviving dealerships have begun the delicate process of reaching out to the customers who were orphaned when Chrysler rejected 789 dealerships in June.
After emerging from bankruptcy June 10, the company sent letters or e-mails to 2.6 million orphaned customers. The letters, signed by Deputy CEO Jim Press, offered customers a $1,000 owner loyalty certificate and recommended a short list of surviving dealerships the customers could visit for sales and service.
The communication was the first of three to orphaned customers, Chrysler spokeswoman Kathy Graham said. A second is due to go out soon, followed by a service offer in August.
Chrysler and its remaining dealers know they need to woo those customers if the enterprise is to remain viable post-bankruptcy. For surviving dealerships, a pool of new customers represents a business opportunity, but one they and Chrysler have to handle with care. Many customers were loyal to dealerships that Chrysler rejected. And many rejected dealerships are trying to keep their nonwarranty service business going strong.
The process is generating strong emotions.