GM Sends Letter to Retailers Regarding 'Megastore' Article

Earlier today SaturnFans.com was obtained a copy of a letter sent by General Motors to dealers across the country regarding an Automotive News article published this past Saturday about a new plan to consolidate GM brands under one roof in urban areas. The plan would have been the first formal initiative to sell Saturn cars alongside other GM makes. Saturn has traditionally been sold exclusively in standalone stores.

In the letter, Mark LaNeve, GM vice president of sales, service, and marketing, explained that the "recent article in Automotive News concerning a major push to put all of GM brands under one roof is out of context" and that "there will be no announcements of any kind regarding any new initiative or change to our channel strategy at the upcoming NADA convention in San Francisco."

Since this morning, this letter has appeared on a variety of websites. In an effort to provide as much information to you about the topic as possible, I'm posting here as well.

Important Message from Mark LaNeve
Dear GM Dealers:

The recent article in Automotive News concerning a major push to put all of GM brands under one roof is out of context and a mischaracterization of our ongoing channel and dealer profit improvement initiatives.

There will be no announcements of any kind regarding any new initiative or change to our channel strategy at the upcoming NADA convention in San Francisco.

What is true is that we have made tremendous progress on our channel efforts to date and recently completed a series of meetings with over 2000 Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealers where we updated them on our progress and plans for the future of the BPG channel.

We have also worked with our dealers on consolidation activity and made significant progress over the past couple of years.

In conjunction with the profitability subcommittee of the National Dealer Council, we have established a Dealer Profitability Department, dramatically reduced dealer inventory, increased the Wholesale Floor Plan program and are looking at many other initiatives.

One of the critical issues facing dealers is the high cost of real estate in the prime locations. We are working with the Subcommittee to address the proper size of dealer facilities, explore additional remote service opportunities and the inclusion of more than one channel at a prime location. To some extent, these types of discussions and activities are nothing new and have been going on for some time on a limited basis.

It is unfortunate the story gave the impression of a major policy announcement or shift in strategy. GM remains committed to working diligently to improving our dealers throughput, return on investment (ROI) and franchise value.

Thank You.

Mark LaNeve
Vice President
Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing

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