In a move to address a surplus of floundering metropolitan dealerships and duplicate badged products, Chrysler announced a program this week dubbed Project Genesis.
Previously the company worked through Project Alpha to consolidate its three brands in single locations. Project Genesis takes that concept to the next level, said Jim Press, co-president of Chrysler, in an interview with Automotive News.
"Genesis incorporates the whole company getting on the same alignment with the same overall strategy," he said. "The dealer network component is a piece of an overall plan."
By reducing the number of unprofitable dealers operating in close proximity to one another, Chrysler hopes to push the advantage of marking its three brands under one roof "to get the full lineup of Chrysler Corp. everywhere" said Press.
Citing an intention to seek dealer feedback and describing Genesis as a forum, Press said there is no existing time table or set numerical goals on reducing either dealerships or trimming vehicles.
Each metropolitan area will be visited by "business solution teams" to help Chrysler dealers evaluate their viability for remaining in business and "to help bring our owners financial capability to draw on new sources of equity, financing property, handling tax consequences, estate planning" and other issues, said Press.
After the launch of Project Alpha in 2004, Chrysler successfully reduced its number of dealerships from 4,000 to 3,600. The new plan will raise that number as well as create outlets for service-only operations as well as satellite dealerships.