General Motors Co. wants to improve and possibly increase the distribution of its dealerships in markets on the East, West and Gulf coasts, top GM executives said Saturday.
Mark Reuss, GM's North America president, said the company is in the early stages of trying to improve the distribution of those stores.
The solution may lie not in increasing the number of dealers but rather in expanding the points of existing dealerships or moving stores around, he said.
Reuss identified such metropolitan markets as Los Angeles and San Francisco as areas where GM needs to align its distribution better and might add dealers.
The problem is a carryover of 20 years of poor products and lagging sales, Reuss said. He also said it's a problem that plagues all automakers, as populations shift and once-prosperous communities - say, in California - were hit by foreclosures.
GM has reduced the number of dealerships from 6,100 before bankruptcy in early 2009 to about 4,500 today. It has 227 dealerships in California, the nation's most populous state, GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney said.
Don Johnson, GM's vice president of U.S. sales operations, said, "Cadillac has a huge opportunity on the West Coast."
He said Buick also could do better in those markets but added, "We don't have good footprints of any of our brands on the coasts."