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Chrysler forum part of drive to boost dealers

Chrysler Group held an “investors forum” during the Frankfurt Motor Show at which dealers from across Europe heard from senior management how the change of ownership would affect the carmaker.

Twenty dealers from the UK attended the forum, ranging from large groups to owner-drivers, of which 17 were non-franchise holders. They were also given details about forthcoming model launches and the business case for new partners.

Chrysler Group UK managing director Peter Lambert said the forum would be a success if between five and 10 dealers expressed a serious interest about taking the franchise in the UK. The next stage will be to look at location, business plan and timings.

Chrysler has 82 dealers and is looking for 100 over the medium term. It admits that some prospective partners had put their plans on ice during the period of ownership uncertainty.

Now it is looking to fill open points, but Lambert stressed that dealers will only be added where the business case is justified. He already has a number of retailers that have been losing money for a few years.

Initiatives in place to help dealers raise profits include a sponsored business manager scheme backed by DaimlerChrysler Financial Services, intended to help dealers to understand the F&I opportunity.

It also offers video links for smaller dealers to connect a customer in the showroom to a financial adviser in Milton Keynes who can discuss funding options.

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