General Motors Corp and Chrysler aim to drop as many as 3,000 U.S. dealers and are expected to begin sending notifications as early as Thursday, three people briefed on the still developing plans said.
GM, facing a U.S. government-imposed deadline of June 1 to restructure or file for bankruptcy, is expected to send termination notices to up to 2,000 dealers — a third of its roughly 6,000 U.S. dealers, the sources told Reuters.
Chrysler, which filed for bankruptcy on April 30, will also tell up to 1,000 of its 3,189 U.S. dealers it is terminating their franchise agreements, according to the sources who asked not to be identified because the controversial closure plans have not been yet announced.
The moves to shut down auto dealerships underscores how the economic pain caused by the downward spiral of both automakers — now operating under U.S. government oversight — is spreading beyond their home base in Detroit.
The development comes as dealer representatives have stepped up lobbying in Washington to try to slow down closures they estimate would cost 200,000 dealership jobs.
Of course, this will be for dealers and their employees. Others will suffer as well — not like it’s the most important example, but to give one: newspapers, local radio, television and cable (who are already hurting from a slow down in advertising) will lose ad revenue. Also worth noting that the reelection campaigns of members of Congress, as noted here, might suffer.