Dealers at Doomed Franchises Rap Quality of GM, Chrysler

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 26, 2009 | Go to article overview

Dealers at Doomed Franchises Rap Quality of GM, Chrysler


Byline: William Ehart, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

It's no way to run a railroad, area auto dealers say - produce cars that consistently ride in the rear of Consumer Reports' annual rankings, and then blame the dealers when they don't sell.

Some jerk in Detroit who has ruined his company is going to say I'm an underperforming dealer? said Jack Fitzgerald, owner of 13 dealerships in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida. I've done nothing but grow every year for 43 years.

Three of his Maryland dealerships will lose their Chrysler franchises by June 9.

Rick Shaub, owner of Montrose Dodge in Germantown, said Chrysler LLC has been behind the curve for years. He owns a single dealership and is losing his franchise.

They don't make cars people want. As far as I'm concerned, they're five years behind everybody else in quality, styling and everything else, he said. If people don't want it, it doesn't matter who sells it.

Peter Kitzmiller, president of the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, said the story is similar at General Motors Corp.

I don't know a GM dealer in the country that has performed all that well, and it certainly has nothing to do with the dealer, he said. The difference is the product.

Mr. Fitzgerald said he has been pressing the automakers to improve their consumer ratings for 20 years, and has letters from former GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner and former DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche to prove it.

We're putting a lot of effort into increasing the reliability and quality of our vehicles, which we're expecting will result in ... even more favorable ratings from Consumer Reports, Mr Zetsche wrote in a 2001 letter to Mr. Fitzgerald.

In the magazine's April issue, which includes rankings of 2009 models, Chrysler was the lowest-rated automaker. GM was second lowest.

Chrysler defended the quality of its cars Friday in response to an inquiry from The Washington Times. Spokeswoman Carrie McElwee said the new Dodge Ram trucks and Jeep Wrangler sport utility vehicles are getting great reviews.

We do understand that Consumer Reports uses a three-year window of vehicles in order to judge reliability, so it will take time to see the results of the changes that we are putting in place to address reliability and quality concerns of our customers, Chrysler said.

Chrysler has a lot of practice explaining its poor ratings, Mr. Fitzgerald said.

A GM spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an inquiry about its reliability ratings.

Chrysler announced plans May 14 through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York to terminate agreements with 789 dealerships, including 13 in the Washington area.

Ms. McElwee said the 25 percent of the dealerships that are being terminated represent just 14 percent of Chrysler's sales.

GM said May 15 that it would end agreements with 1,100 dealers. GM's list was not made public, and no Washington-area dealers have said they are affected. The company is widely expected to join Chrysler in bankruptcy by June 1, at which point its dealer list would become public.

Like most other Chrysler dealers, Jim Gunning of Manassas Dodge is incredulous that the automaker gave him only until June 9 to unload his inventory of about 40 vehicles. After that, he said, he will no longer be licensed to sell new Dodges or to provide warranty service. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Dealers at Doomed Franchises Rap Quality of GM, Chrysler
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.