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Old 01-21-2008, 06:56 PM   #1
Mr. Wyndham
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GM wants U.S. Superstores

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January 21, 2008,
by Nicolas Van Praet

General Motors Corp. is readying a plan to convince U.S. auto dealers to create GM superstores in major metro areas so the company can maintain a high profile, Automotive News reports.

The plan stems from a major problem, namely that in many cities, dealers selling GM, Ford and Chrysler vehicles are selling their businesses because the real estate is more valuable than the franchise, the trade publication says.

Putting all GM brands under one roof in what the company calls "GM Collections" would let the company shore up its profile in cities where real estate is costly.

To create enough space on the showrooms for the extra franchises, dealers will be asked to move service and parts operations to separate locations, Automotive News says. The plan will be explained at next month's annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers Association in San Francisco, it says.

Honda Motor Co. is expanding its own "superstore" plan here in Canada, whereby the company sells all the products it makes – from snowblowers to boat engines and small cars – at one location. GM sells cars and trucks under several brands, including Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Saturn, Cadillac, Hummer and Saab.

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Cool!!! General Motors supercenters!
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:01 PM   #2
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Its sad that many of the mom and pop dealerships are having tough times. As nice as it would be to have large dealerships and all the benefits they offer, small dealerships have their advantages too. I'm not sure how to feel about this yet.
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:09 PM   #3
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I think I would rather see GM service centers than GM dealerships. I think I prefer the two or three brand dealership setup they currently use: Pontiac+ Buick+GMC; Saturn+Saab (+Isuzu); and so on. Then, instead of having repair shops back at the dealership, have an all encompasing GM shop, because of brands sharing platforms this would probably reduce the amount of training. You won't need to train people at Chevy, Saturn, Saab, Pontiac and Cadilac dealerships to fix common items on the Epsilon cars.

I figure at least half the problems will be common to all cars that share the same platform so this will streamline the retraining process and allow for service to be done in a more proficient manner. Or has all this been done already and I'm just oblivious to it?
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:18 AM   #4
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Now that is a smart idea.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:55 PM   #5
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Cool idea. So the dealerships would be pretty much like Wal-Mart Supercenters? (For GM cars that is)
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:14 PM   #6
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Yeah... I don't really like that idea.

If I'm looking for a Chevy, I want to talk to someone who knows about Chevy cars. The little most dealers know about their cars would only be further clouded by them having to know extra details on all GM's other cars as well.

The same could probably be said for the mechanics at the service center. I take my car to the dealership because I trust that they have experience and are specifically trained with my car. If it was a Service supercenter, the chances would be higher of getting a technician with less experience with your specific issue.

Not to mention all the jobs lost by consolidating (and most likely overworking) all the employees at the supercenters.

I agree that it's better than selling out all the dealerships, but I still don't like it.
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