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GM Wraps Up Bitter Dealer Arbitration Process

Will trim dealer count to 4,500, but 100s more saved.

by on Aug.06, 2010

The new face of Cadillac; GM is expecting 1,000 retailers to upgrade this year.

General Motors has wrapped up its often-contentious effort to trim its dealership network, eliminating more than 1,500 outlets, but saving roughly 500 more than it originally had hoped to terminate — for a total of 4,500.

The maker says the downsized distribution system, which will still be the nation’s largest, should help it become more competitive in the wake of its 2009 bankruptcy and the elimination of four of its eight North American brands.

“A strong, profitable dealer network selling and servicing the world’s best cars and trucks is a genuine market advantage,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM’s U.S. operations.

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In June 2009, in the midst of its Chapter 11 reorganization, GM had 6,049 retail outlets in the U.S.  As part of its restructuring, the maker abandoned the Saturn, Hummer and Pontiac brands and eventually sold off Saab, simultaneously moving to “wind down” its franchise agreements with 2,064 retailers.