General Motors divulged that of its total number of dealerships in the U.S., about 96% are enrolled in a program that provides financial rewards to those who accomplish facility renovations, standing for 99% of GM’s retail volume.
GM forecasts that 460 dealerships will complete renovations by the end of 2011 and that over 4,000 will have theirs done by the end of 2014, according to Don Johnson, GM vice president in charge of U.S. sales operations, who spoke during an online presentation to analysts and media.
GM CEO Dan Akerson also reiterated the company’s forecast for total-industry light-vehicle sales of a minimum of 13 million units this year.
But then, Akerson admits that the company is a “little unsure” of these figures due to the turmoil and uncertainty in the business. He said that when the market recovers, GM will be able to “really leverage” it farther than what has been so far since its IPO.
As part of the largest dealer facilities upgrade program in GM’s history, quarterly bonuses will be given by GM's Essential Brand Elements program to dealers who renovate their stores. In fact, payments for bigger stores can go as high as several hundred thousand dollars a month.
Nevertheless, several dealers believe that the industry’s recovery isn’t strong enough for them to pour money onto the upgrades for their stores. A few smaller dealers complained that it’s hard for them to get bank financing to fund the renovations.