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GM keeps multi-franchising in the family

General Motors Europe is developing an inter-group multi-franchising strategy as its key response to the onset of the new block exemption.

The car giant is encouraging dealers for its Opel, Saab and Daewoo subsidiaries to combine under common ownership in Europe.

GM Europe's strategy, which will be outlined in detail early next year, is aimed at convincing existing dealers who want to add a franchise to do so within the GM family. In the past, Opel usually blocked its dealers from selling other brands at their stores, including other GM-owned brands.

There are exceptions. Opel and Saab dealers are combined in Sweden and in other countries some dealers operate both brands, though within separate legal entities.

"The EU commission wanted to create and encourage a multi-brand retail environment, and we are now looking at how we can provide our retail partners with the best economic propositions for this," says Jonathan Browning, GM Europe's vice president for sales, marketing and aftersales.

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