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Re: Isuzu Corporate News Thread (Company News)
04/09/07 02:49 PM
Overall, there were 21,761 new-vehicle dealerships in the United States on Jan. 1, down 328 from the previous year -- the largest reduction in the past decade. The number of new-vehicle franchises dropped by 356, to 40,285.
Last year, the Detroit 3 collectively shed 462 dealerships, according to the census. At the start of 2007, GM had 6,901 dealerships, down 222 from the previous Jan. 1.
In the same period, GM subtracted just 97 franchises, reflecting the consolidation effort. On a smaller scale, GM seeks to combine Cadillac, Saab and Hummer franchises within luxury dealerships in some markets.
The Chrysler group's consolidation plan, called Alpha, seeks to combine Chrysler division, Dodge and Jeep franchises in the same dealerships. The group's retail network shed 119 franchises in 2006. The number of dealerships selling all three brands rose by 31, to 1,934. "We want to work to increase profitability and dealer throughput," says Markus Mainka, Chrysler group spokesman. "To achieve that goal, we see potential for network optimization."
Ford Motor launched a plan last summer to cut at least 600 dealerships over the next few years. Ford Motor Co. had 4,270 dealerships on Jan.1, down 126 from the year-ago date. The Chrysler group had 3,749 dealerships, down 134.
The Detroit 3 are reducing their counts faster than their import competitors are raising theirs.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. outsells the Chrysler group in the United States and sells almost as many units as Ford Motor. But on Jan. 1, Toyota Division had 1,224 franchises, nine more than it had on Jan. 1, 2006, and barely one-third as many as Ford division's count.
Three second-tier imports each lost more than 20 dealerships last year. Isuzu's franchise count declined by 67, to 227 on Jan. 1. Mitsubishi's fell by 42, to 503. Mazda's declined by 22, to 687.
n the past 10 years, the number of import-exclusive U.S. dealerships rose 72.5 percent, from 3,551 on Jan. 1, 1997, to 6,127 at the beginning of this year. The 2006 bump was the 12th straight annual increase and seventh consecutive record total. Last year's increase was 223 dealerships.
In an exclusive outlet, all energies are devoted to the designated brand, be it Toyota or Mercedes-Benz or Land Rover. There's no division of time for management, the sales staff or the service department. No sharing of showroom space among two or three or a half-dozen makes.
Over the past decade, 20 of the 22 best-selling import makes have added solo outlets -- all except Mitsubishi and Isuzu. Some of the increases have been dramatic. Volkswagen had only 66 one-liners in 1997. Today it counts 275, with two fewer franchises.
In the same period, Porsche rose from five exclusive dealerships to 69; Audi, from five to 85; Hyundai, from to 50 to 394. Its Korean partner, Kia, jumped from 17 to 367.
In the past decade, exclusive dealerships have increased 45 percent for Nissan Division, 30 percent for Honda Division and 25 percent for Toyota Division. Those percentage gains are not as great as the advances mentioned earlier, but the companies started from a larger base.
Last year Toyota Division regained the lead in exclusive dealerships from Honda Division. The two makes have bounced first place back and forth in recent years. Toyota Division has 867 single-brand stores, about 70.8 percent of its 1,224 U.S. franchises.
Toyota added 35 exclusive franchises last year, but its franchise total rose by only nine. Honda Division had 839 solo dealerships at the beginning of this year, and Nissan Division reported 791. The three brands account for 40.8 percent of import-exclusive dealerships in the United States.
As for nation of origin, it was strictly a one-country show. Japanese brands accounted for 4,211 of the one-brand import dealerships, 68.7 percent of the total. Germany trailed with 765, and Korea had 761.
As import-exclusives have risen, domestic single-liners have continued to decline. General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group's North America brands had 6,528 exclusive outlets on Jan. 1, down from 6,927 a year earlier. At the beginning of 2002, GM, Ford and Chrysler counted 7,569 one-brand dealerships.
The domestic total is for stores that handle only one of the parent company's brands.
Ford division leads the domestics with 2,328 exclusives, and Chevrolet has 2,170.
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