Bill Heard does not have a good reputation. I’ve been in the auto business for nearly 14 years and here’s my take:
On the surface (it’ll take a while for the true story to unveil itself) two things really stick out:
- all 13 stores closed
- GMAC pulled its floorplanning
When you combine these two it just stinks of mis-management. How do you get so deeply into trouble that you have to close all 13 stores? Even the most idiotic retailers will shutter the poor performers and keep the bread-n-butter stores open while they regroup.
As for the floorplanning, there’s only one reason GMAC made this decision: it saw a hopeless cause.
BH can spin it any way they want and they did by saying these drastic measures are a result of "rising fuel prices, a product portfolio of mostly heavy trucks and sport utility vehicles, economic recession, unfavorable local market conditions for vehicle sales, the crisis in the banking and financing sectors, and other factors all combined to create a business environment in which the company simply did not have the resources needed to continue to operate.’’
Wait! You forgot to blame the Pope, the weather, and your goofy brother-in-law!
If this was the case every Chevy dealer would be doing the same. But, fortunately not every Chevy dealer went to the Bill Heard school of management.