Chrysler May Make Huge Brand Changes While Making Large Dealer Cuts
By Brendan Moore
Chrysler LLC dealers have been briefed on a plan by Chrysler to cut as many as a thousand U.S. franchised dealers in tandem with new, earth-shaking branding changes, according to a just-published article in The Wall Street Journal. The branding changes would entail limiting all passenger car sales to the Chrysler brand only, with Dodge dealers having only light-duty trucks and commercial vehicles to sell and Jeep dealers having only Jeeps and SUVs to sell.
This would be change on a grand scale for Chrysler and it would address a couple of the many problems Chrysler has; namely, product overlap and too many dealers. Dealers would start dropping off like flies in many areas once they had fewer products to sell, and Chrysler LLC could certainly help that process along by making life miserable for weak dealers through cutbacks in sales incentive programs.
Additionally, dealers have stated that they have been told that the whole Chrysler PT Cruiser line will be gone in 2009.
The dealers said that Chrysler has not decided to definitely go through with the plan at this point, but will make a decision on whether to proceed with the changes by the end of the year.
Stay tuned as more news becomes available.
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