General Motors has been the poster child for stringent facility guidelines since it rolled out its Essential Brand Elements program in late 2009. It sparked a backlash from many GM dealers, mostly small ones, who argued that GM's method of paying dealerships for renovations favors higher-volume stores.
But the outcry has faded considerably as dealers either move ahead with construction or drop out of the program.
GM has spent more than $3 billion on facility overhauls so far, doling out $300 to $700 per vehicle order to dealerships that meet the guidelines. The company will spend more before the program expires in 2016.
Of GM's 4,300 dealerships, 3,714, or 86 percent, are enrolled in the facility image program, a company spokeswoman said. About 1,600 have completed their overhauls. Another 933 are under construction, and nearly 1,200 have construction plans pending.