Chrysler made the wrong choice to keep open one N.Y. dealership, arbitrator rules

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Comparative operating and sales data were used in the arbitration proceedings for a Chrysler dealership based in New York. Terry Chrysler-Jeep in Burnt Hills, N.Y., was represented by lawyer John Gentile, who said that this is the first time that performance data was used in this type of cases.

The arbitration then ruled that Chrysler Group made the wrong decision in choosing to keep open one New York state dealership and reject another. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez unsealed the data last month.

This won't be the last case to use these data since Gentile's law firm in Mineola, N.Y., has plans to present performance figures for its clients and their competitors in two other cases.

Gentile remarked that more lawyers are encouraged to do this as well. The arbitrator in the Terry case handed down a ruling that stated that Chrysler, which cut several dealers last year to match sales with demand, had in effect chosen to keep open a nearby Clifton Park dealership instead of Terry, which is located outside Albany.

According to the arbitrator's June 8 decision, it was determined that after reviewing criteria used by the carmaker to terminate the dealership's franchise agreement, the Terry dealership appeared to be a better candidate to remain an active dealer as compared to the Clifton Park dealership.

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