Chrysler has now paid all US dealers for incentive and warranty claims owed to them yet “can’t say” how many dealerships will survive the automaker’s bankruptcy.
While Australian dealerships are unaffected at this stage, US counterparts are facing the very real concern of closing their doors within weeks as a result of the company’s bankruptcy proceedings.
“Unfortunately, there will be dealers who will not go forward,” said co-President Jim Press. “We do not have a finalised plan. We don’t have identification of who. We don’t know when. We don’t know how. We have nothing to announce today other than this is all in flux.
“We paid all dealers who are open and doing business. We paid incentives, we paid warranty. We paid 100 per cent of the dealers even though some of those dealers may not be going forward.”
Chrysler also said it was adjusting its payment schedule by one day during the bankruptcy period. Normally dealers submit claims to Chrysler at the end of each week and are reimbursed over the weekend so the money is in their accounts Monday morning. This will now occur on Tuesdays.
Chrysler executives also said that 2,500 of the dealer body of about 3,200 had signed and returned their paperwork to get retail loans from GMAC Financial Services, which will become Chrysler’s designated lender once the company emerges from bankruptcy.