GM to Close 2,300 Dealerships Through 2010

On Friday, General Motors said 2,300 dealerships across the United States will close by the end of 2010.

General Motors said they plan to reduce its dealer network from 5,969 stores to approximately 3,600 by the end of 2010. How many of those dealerships will be in North Texas remains to be seen. GM is not releasing the names of the dealerships to be closed since they are independently owned businesses -- GM said it is up to the dealers as to if and when they make that information public.

Approximately 1,100 underperforming and very small sales volume U.S. dealers will be advised that GM does not see them as part of its dealer network on a long-term basis. In most cases, existing franchise agreements run through October of 2010, GM said in a news release Friday.

GM said they also plan to update their 470 Saturn, Hummer and Saab dealers on the status of those brands going forward.

"We have said from the beginning that our dealers are not a problem but an asset for General Motors," said LaNeve. "However it is imperative that a healthy, viable GM have a healthy, viable dealer body that can not only survive but prosper during cyclical downturns. It is obvious that almost all parts of GM, including the dealer body, must get smaller and more efficient."

On Thursday, Chrysler announced the closure of about 25 percent of its dealerships as part of its restructuring plan.  In North Texas, 15 Chrysler dealerships were shuttered in the move.

Representatives said the move was necessary to preserve it's best-selling dealerships and to eliminate those that only sold one of the company's brands.

Local dealerships spend about $16.5 million per year in their community.  With so many closing, owners said the effects will ripple across the Metroplex.

"We are not terminating any dealerships today," said Mark LaNeve, GM vice president of sales service and marketing.  "We will be talking to all of our dealers over the next few weeks, letting them know now in the spirit of open communication, so they are advised well in advance, about our long-term plans and their role in them. Long term, GM should have fewer, healthier dealers, maintaining GM's current high customer satisfaction ratings, with more sales per outlet."

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