DETROIT — General Motors is in the home stretch of what executives call the most extensive makeover of a dealership network in automotive history.
Though the requirements of the program rankled many dealers early on, the “multibillion-dollar investment” by GM over the last five years has “changed the face of our brands across the nation,” Alan Batey, GM’s president of North America since January 2014, toldAutomotive News last week.
“We’ve gone, in my opinion, from being the worst to being the best in our facilities,” said Batey.
But the program’s scheduled expiration next year raises financial uncertainty for most of GM’s dealers, who have come to depend on quarterly bonuses that are tied partly to making store improvements. Those bonuses can earn big-volume stores in excess of $1 million annually. Many are waiting to see how GM tweaks the program for the future.
“There’s no question that it’s become an important part of the overall bottom line,” said Steve Rayman, owner of Steve Rayman Chevrolet in Smyrna, Ga., near Atlanta.
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