GM – Chrysler Fight Measures On Dealership Cuts

General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group stepped up their lobbying Thursday against bills in the U.S. House that would reverse their cuts in dealerships, arguing the moves threaten their survival out of bankruptcy, stated an article in FreePress.com.

Dealers have been pushing bills in Congress that would undo any changes made by Chrysler or GM in their dealer agreements during their bankruptcies.  One version now has 221 sponsors in the House, more than the 218 it needs to pass, and dealers who back the proposal plan to push the issue with House and Senate members during a lobbying blitz Tuesday, with a House vote possible Wednesday.

“By a unanimous vote, a U.S. House committee has approved a measure that would restore 2,100 dealers either cut or scheduled to be closed by General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group LLC.  The vote comes amid growing support in the House for the proposal, with more than 200 cosponsors signed on to a similar bill.  Dealers will hold a lobbying event next Tuesday to press for the plan in the House and Senate.  The bill would turn back the clock to before the companies filed for bankruptcy, restoring the 789 dealers cut by Chrysler and 1,300 dealers GM chose to wind down.”

Mark LaNeve, GM’s sales chief, and GM North America head Troy Clarke spent the day criss-crossing Capitol Hill, as did Chrysler Deputy CEO Jim Press.  “In terms of creating a viable, competitive GM on taxpayer dollars, you can’t look in the mirror and say we didn’t have to restructure the dealer body,” LaNeve said. “Everybody acknowledges, even dealers acknowledge, we had too many dealers.”

In addition to reversing the dealer cuts, the bills would throw out the changes GM negotiated with the 4,100 dealers it chose to keep. LaNeve said about half of those dealers had sent letters to lawmakers opposing the dealer bill.  Chrysler said in a statement that the House version of the dealer bill “would jeopardize the viability of the new company.”  The proposal by Michigan Rep. Gary Peters, which was still being circulated among lawmakers, suggested using money returned by banks under the $700-billion financial industry bailout.

I know it’s horrible that people are losing jobs at these dealers but I don’t understand this vote. First, GM/Chrysler are told to “become competitive” but then Congress tries to stop them from taking the steps they feel are necessary to be competitive.

It makes no sense to me, but how about you?  What needs to happen is that our government, who now controls the banking system and the major banks, had better start getting these Taxpayer Owned entities to loan money again.  Is this crazy or what?