789 Chrysler dealers being cut; both lists

Chrysler will terminate 789 dealerships by June 9. The affected dealers were notified by UPS letters.

As a company in Chapter 11 proceedings, Chrysler does not have to buy back vehicles, parts, or tools from the dealers losing their franchises. It will, however, try to find buyers for dealer assets among those who remain. 

According to Chrysler, 83% of the dealers losing their franchise sell more used cars than new cars. In addition, 44% hold other companies’ franchises (e.g. Kia), so the dealerships may be converted to competing brands.

80% of the remaining dealerships will sell all three brands; and it may be easier for the remaining 20% to pick up the missing brands by purchasing the necessary inventory, signage, and (in some cases) tools, and by hiring expert mechanics, from dealerships losing their franchise. This will allow Chrysler to drop overlapping models (e.g. Jeep Compass vs Dodge Caliber).

According to a company memo, the dealers will be allowed 23 days for a court review of their individual cases.

Update: the politics of dealer closings

President Obama has been charged with forcing the closure of Chrysler dealers who contributed to the Republican Party, even though the chairman of the new Chrysler Group was a member of G.W. Bush’s election organization and has consistently contributed to Republicans running for Congress and the White House.  The source of this story, which has been featured on dozens of sites now and appears to have been picked up by Rush Limbaugh, is a Republican dealership-owning Congressman whose franchise is being pulled, whose evidence is a quote from a Republican lawyer for the dealers who are losing their franchises.

While originally the story claimed that all the 789 dealers losing their franchises were owned by Republican Party donors, the story quickly changed to all-but-one. Some research on a neocon blog which repeatedly made reference to “Chicago politics” and attempted to paint Obama as a ruthless communist showed, however, that eight of 39 dealership owners who had made donations that appeared in public databases had donated to Democratic candidates, which means that there appear to be more Democrats (as a percentage) in the closing dealerships than in the ones staying open. 


Nate Silver studied the numbers and found that 92% of dealerships remaining open also contributed to the Republicans. Past Automotive News polls have shown that an overwhelming majority of car dealer owners are Republican.

Two dealers that have been pointed out as being singled out for revenge are Florida representative Vern Buchanon and James Auffenberg. However, Buchanon has been linked to fraud, and Auffenberg was indicted for tax fraud.

No analysis has examined the politics of the dealers who remain open vs those who are closing. Chrysler did post the rationale, along with supporting facts, such as the fact that the closed dealers, as a group, account for a very small proportion of the company’s new car sales.


Steve Landry of Chrysler stated that the dealers were evaluated using a “thorough, rigorous process that used a data-driven metric.” Factors included new car sales (with a minimum that eliminated some dealers known for their good service ); local share; customer satisfaction with sales and service; the facility itself (capacity and meeting new standards); location; and being paired with a competitor.

Before the government got involved with Chrysler, the company had already discussed the need to reduce the number of dealers and was pressuring dealers to sell all three brands. This would have resulted in a high degree of overlap in some areas, particularly those where Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep dealers with different owners were in close proximity.

The “news sources” reporting a political bias invariably refer to “Chicago politics,” and tend to claim Obama to be a communist, call the move “income redistribution,” and frequently use derogatory terms such as “Lord Obama” or “Comrade Obama,” indicating that remaining bias free is not a priority.

It is possible that there was a political motivation behind the list, which was according to all accounts generated within Chrysler, but that has yet to be demonstrated. No reputable group, including NADA, has yet made that accusation.

The lists are:
Chrysler dealerships losing their franchise (PDF)

Chrysler dealerships keeping their franchise (PDF)

AMP version.

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FCA inventory under control


FCA has gotten inventory levels under control in the US, according to Automotive News.  The company has 73 days of stock, versus GM’s 79 days and Ford’s 80 days. It’s above any major import’s inventory, but the wide range of pickups tends to swell American lots.

As the car market drops, dealers have 19,900 Chrysler 200s and 16,500 Darts on their lots;

Read the full story: FCA inventory under control  »

Rendering the Grand Cherokee

DarkSky envisioned a somewhat Range Rover-influenced 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee, keeping roughly the same body shape but altering the front. This design makes the front end both more conventional and more aggressive, while separating it from the Cherokee and Compass alike.

This goes along, somewhat, with the photos recently seen on a Jeep display, assumed by many to be a Wagoneer. Once the size is corrected for,

Read the full story: Rendering the Grand Cherokee  »

Where are Wranglers sold?

2015 Jeep Wrangler Altitude

The Jeep Wrangler is an American staple, but it’s sold around the world. Recently, as part of a recall, FCA revealed the sales distribution of the 2016-17 Wrangler.

The great bulk of vehicles — 182,743 — were sold or distributed to the United States. Around 10% of those, 18,011, were in Canada. Accounting for around 20% of the Canadian number were 3,087 in Mexico. Finally, 20,948 were sold outside North America — a bit over 10%.

Read the full story: Where are Wranglers sold?  »

Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

The last few days have brought numerous photos to the fore; but which will we see?

The big truck-based Wagoneer, so far as it’s based on the photos above, seems least likely, at least in that form. Looking at it after the two images were set to the same scale, you can see that the “new Jeep” is likely closely based on the Grand Cherokee, which is in line with past company statements.

Read the full story: Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?  »

The Renegade-influenced Wrangler

Reddit member “arcsreddit” recently shared this photo of a Renegade-fronted Jeep Wrangler was photographed, in part-size clay-model form (which looks incredibly real).  While it’s hard to criticize on its appearance, it could send the wrong message — that the Wrangler has been “Renegaded” and lost capability.

Sources have told us that the next Wrangler will be as capable as the current one, if not more so;

Read the full story: The Renegade-influenced Wrangler  »

FCA inventory under control

Rendering the Grand Cherokee
2015 Jeep Wrangler Altitude
Where are Wranglers sold?

Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

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