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Old 03-28-2012, 12:16 PM   #1
XDCX
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Default Billionaire mega-dealer sues GM over their Essential Brands Elements program

Automotive News has an interesting story about a Billionaire mega-dealer in Florida who's suing GM over their Essential Brands Elements (EBE) program.

The dealer, Norman Braman, reportedly has a net-worth in excess of $1.5 Billion and is the former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles football team. He's suing GM because he feels GM's EBE program establishes two-tier pricing in violation of the federal Robinson-Patman act. His suit further contends that GM's EBE program does not conform to a Florida law calling for reasonable payments.

The Florida law caught my eye - I had never heard of it before. As I understand it the law requires OEMs to pay at least 80% of their incentives to all dealers regardless of facility requirements. Said another way, an OEM could only withhold 20% of a dealer cash incentive if the dealer failed to comply with the OEM's facility requirements.

The goal of the Florida law is to narrow the spread of two-tier pricing. Braman contends his failure to comply with GM's EBE facility demands puts him at a $700 disadvantage to his competitors - the Florida law is supposed to narrow that gap to $140.

Props to Mr. Braman for leading this fight when so few other dealers can afford to take on the factory.

On a final note, not surprisingly, the NADA is sitting on their hands concerning this case as they try to figure out which side they're on.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
jayhawk
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THANK YOU Mr. Braman!!! my new hero.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:28 AM   #3
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THANK YOU Mr. Braman!!! my new hero.
I did think of you when I read the article in Automotive News.

In the article Braman commented that he felt there were a lot of other dealers who objected to two-tier pricing but they didn't have the resources to fight the factory - Bramam doesn't have that problem.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:45 AM   #4
twkrantz
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So did anyone get switched to red and losing EBE funds?

We had a Cadillac wind down, so Gensler just did a Chevrolet facility image for us. About halfway through construction we find out that we're getting GMC & Cadillac back.

Now that we had to wait forever for GMC & Cadillac to receive the Brand Elements and tear down walls to put the Art and Science Center up, we missed our deadline and our losing funds.

They never extended our time and basically was wondering if any other dealers are having issues?

Thanks
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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That's ridiculous! The factory takes GMC & Cadillac franchise away, then demands a new/updated facility for Chevy utilizing their Brand Elements design...then, almost 18 months AFTER the "wind down" period, they inform you you're getting GMC/Caddy back causing you to have to "remodel" the project halfway through...and have the balls to punish YOU for not meeting their deadline. They better make sure the security guards are limiting dealer access to the business centers...unbelievable.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:17 PM   #6
twkrantz
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Get this, we call and beg repeatedly and tell them we need just 2 more weeks past our original deadline and they dont return calls or give us a break.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #7
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Get this, we call and beg repeatedly and tell them we need just 2 more weeks past our original deadline and they dont return calls or give us a break.
This is the kind of crap that makes me glad to be an EX GM dealer, and why I will never buy a new GM product again.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
kirk
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Default What is the latest on this case?

I am curious how this case is progressing. I would like to do the remodel, but can't afford to do it at this time. I just found out that I will be forfeiting my funds in escrow when I turn red status next May. Is any progress being made regarding the two-tier pricing case? Are extentions being offered?

Last edited by kirk; 09-25-2012 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:21 PM   #9
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I am curious how this case is progressing. I would like to do the remodel, but can't afford to do it at this time. I just found out that I will be forfeiting my funds in escrow when I turn red status next May. Is any progress being made regarding the two-tier pricing case? Are extentions being offered?
kirk - First post - Welcome to DealershipForum.

I am not sure what the status of Mr. Bramam's case is against General Motors but I'll reach out to the dealership to see if I can get an update.

I sense that EBE is a major issue with most GM dealers but it doesn't seem to be attracting the attention of NADA or the GM Dealer Council.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:44 PM   #10
DealerEx
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kirk - First post - Welcome to DealershipForum.

I am not sure what the status of Mr. Bramam's case is against General Motors but I'll reach out to the dealership to see if I can get an update.

I sense that EBE is a major issue with most GM dealers but it doesn't seem to be attracting the attention of NADA or the GM Dealer Council.
If past experience is any indicator, even a 2 x 4 right between the eyes would be unlikely to attract the attention of NADA or any national dealer council...
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:00 PM   #11
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If past experience is any indicator, even a 2 x 4 right between the eyes would be unlikely to attract the attention of NADA or any national dealer council...
Thanks - I needed a good laugh today!
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:44 PM   #12
Jeff Duvall
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I spoke to Jack Fitzgerald last week about his case in Maryland. Every dealer should lobby their state association to amend their franchise laws to mirrow Marylands concerning facilities. Very clear that EBE is illegal there.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:20 PM   #13
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I spoke to Jack Fitzgerald last week about his case in Maryland. Every dealer should lobby their state association to amend their franchise laws to mirrow Marylands concerning facilities. Very clear that EBE is illegal there.
Jeff - Thanks for the update.

It's good to know that one of the State Dealer Associations has been successful in getting legislation passed that prevents the OEM's facility demands and two-tier pricing from getting too far out of control.
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:41 AM   #14
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Default Norman Brahman is back in the news....

I haven't been following the 2016 Presidential race too closely but when I read there's a Billionaire Car Dealer from Florida who's bankrolling one of the Republican hopefuls, Marco Rubio, I was intrigued.

When I read the name of the Dealer, Norman Braman, I thought the name sounded familiar - it turns out this is the same Norman Braman who took on GM's EBE program.

Here's a link to a news report with a photograph of Mr. Braman - click here

For those who don't recall, GM quietly announced they settled their case with Braman and the whole issue just disappeared. I still wonder what GM offered Braman to make him go away? Would a Billionaire be swayed by money or did GM employ some other tactic?
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