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With all the turmoil in financial markets the troubled US auto industry seems to be on the verge of total collapse. 700 dealers might close because customers can't get finance as Ford and GM stock touched a57 year low.
All may not be lost for US auto as the GM-Chrysler deal might promote receiving some federal funding to re-tool. On the distribution side with the closing distributorships I was cheered to read some comments here . According to these comments most if not all these 700 dealers will be US Auto dealers and not import dealers. These auto dealers are ones with large product lines,little differentiation among offerings and too much territory squeeze much like McDonald franchises who might wake up to find another McDonald just across the road and much more competition.
If this is indeed true for US auto distributors then there might be streamlining of the distribution channels and remaining dealers might become more healthy when the credit situation improves.
I tried comparing the "locate" the dealer feature for "Chevy" on the GM website and the locate a dealer for Toyota.Toyota offers one dealer when you search by ZIP code after which you have to dig deeper for more dealers.On the other hand, GM starts with 3 dealers on the first page and offers 3-4 pages of dealers. Too much choice for lesser numbers of cars sold and probably too many dealers.
Seems similar to the US auto upstream supplier policy of having many component suppliers who have a hard time turning a decent profit. Here downstream distributors seem to also have too much "internal" competition to turn in good profits. The situation is off course much more difficult in tough economic times.