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Old 08-25-2011, 05:19 PM   #1
Jeff Duvall
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Default Back In The Saddle Again

Have you ever had that song in your head that just keeps playing over and over?

For me, today it's been "Back In The Saddle Again" ....One minute it's the Gene Autry version the next time it's Aerosmith.

After being terminated for more than 2 years we finally got our dealer code reactivated today.

The victory is bittersweet, on one hand I am excited to get the franchise back but on the other hand I am still angry that many of the same people that stole from one dealer to give to another, continue to be employed with Chrysler.

If there are any fellow CRDR members on this forum I can never thank you enough. And to those dealers that fought the fight and didn't get anything, my heart goes out to you.

On a related note; I had some communications with Tammy Darvish this morning and she said her book is coming out just after the Labor Day weekend. You can be sure that this saga is far from being over.... Tammy wants accountability. Get ready, I got a feeling it will be good one.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
The StraightShooter
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Congratulations
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:08 PM   #3
srt
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Yes congratulations and best of luck. We were not lucky and 63 years went away real quick. I was just thinking of how life sometimes evens the score before reading this post. Don't stand too close to P. Grady as lighting may strike. Really hope you recover your lost profits and are able to deal with the two face set at Chrysler. Looking forward to Tammy's book and hoping for justice in the claims court.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:03 PM   #4
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Jeff, I loved your fighting spirit. I read your posts here and in Automotive news. You kept the Injustice to the Painter family in everyones mind. I wish the dealers only good things, but at the same time I wish Chrysler and the Obama administration that directed this mess only bad things.
Like SRT I am hoping for justice in the Court of Federal Claims. Best of luck to you.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:11 AM   #5
57years
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Congrats! Can't imagine how much the fight cost you to win. (I know how much it costs to lose!) Re your email, I also salute Alan, Jack, and Tammy.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:34 AM   #6
Lakeshow
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Congrats! And good luck!
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:42 AM   #7
XDCX
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Jeff - That's the best news I've heard all week. Congratulations.

I also thought it was cool that I heard about your good news from one of our members via PM yesterday morning - Good news travels fast.

While I don't know the details of your situation I always got the impression your store was terminated because you were an easy mark. Chrysler needed to close a set number of dealers to satisfy the Task Force and the Business Centers had the dirty job of determining who got killed off.

In your case it was easy for the BC to justify your termination because you had a non-conforming facility. The BC knew you had plans for a new facility but they didn't care they just needed to hit a number.

Auburn Hills knew they could kill off your store and then issue you and 49 other dealers a LOI to get your store back. It was a PR stunt by Chrysler and it worked - many Americans still think Chrysler offered their dealers an opportunity to get their stores back.

In my opinion, your store and countless others were killed off to appease the Task Force and help the President sell the message that Chrysler's bailout was a "shared sacrifice." I'll go so far as to predict that Chrysler knew they were going to offer you a LOI when they killed off your store - they just needed one more kill to make the Task Force happy.

Your business was destroyed and you were left in the trenches trying to explain to your customers, community, employees and vendors how Chrysler's actions would impact their lives.

Congratulations on your success - it was a hard fought battle that never needed to happen.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstsphil View Post
Jeff, I loved your fighting spirit. I read your posts here and in Automotive news. You kept the Injustice to the Painter family in everyones mind. I wish the dealers only good things, but at the same time I wish Chrysler and the Obama administration that directed this mess only bad things.
Like SRT I am hoping for justice in the Court of Federal Claims. Best of luck to you.
Great comments - I agree 100%.

I've always enjoyed reading Jeff's comments and I commend him for keeping the injustice of what happened to the Painter family and the hypocrisy of the NADA in the spotlight.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:58 PM   #9
Jeff Duvall
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[While I don't know the details of your situation I always got the impression your store was terminated because you were an easy mark]

I agree... we were low hanging fruit. We are in a rural market and had only been open approximately 10 months operating under a term agreement that required us to construct a new facility.

The only way the LOI worked for me is because we were renovating a 45,000 square foot former Winn Dixie grocery store that we owned to house our other franchises.

Chrysler waived the exclusive facility requirement in the LOI so I had virtually no expense to include them in the renovation plans.

I know I am the luckiest dealer that got terminated.

1) I only had a total of $25000 in parts inventory that was from my initial order, all current stock. I kept rather than taking pennies on the dollar.

2) I kept all my vehicle inventory and When Cash for Clunkers came out I got a friend that is a dealer to report all the sales and claim the rebates for me. When that program was winding down he bought everything I had left over and I split the holdback with him on those units.

3) I went from a term agreement that required a new exclusive facility to a standard agreement that allowed me to dual with the other franchises.

4) We were in my attorneys (nephew) office preparing for arbitration when Chrysler called an offered the LOI to settle.

Other than the $25000 I gladly contributed to CRDR and our cost to go to D.C. to lobby plus all the time me my son and our employee's spent on the phones and writing letters, my expenses were minimal other than $4000 I pissed away on the law firm NADA referred to represent us in bankruptcy court.

Be sure that all my good luck didn't come without a load of survivorís guilt. It makes sick to think of all the others that worked so hard and lost so much. And then I think about the dealers that colluded with GM and Chrysler to get the terminated franchises and then I want to hurt somebody...bad, real bad.

In the end I learned allot and come to know a group of people that changed my life forever in a good way under bad circumstances. I also saw the worst come out of a group of people that shocked me. And I lost about all the respect I ever had for the NADA.
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Duvall View Post
Other than the $25000 I gladly contributed to CRDR and our cost to go to D.C. to lobby plus all the time me my son and our employee's spent on the phones and writing letters, my expenses were minimal other than $4000 I pissed away on the law firm NADA referred to represent us in bankruptcy court.
Wow, that was a generous contribution to the CRDR but it was certainly money well spent. I've often wondered how much of CRDR's expenses were shouldered by Darvish, Fitzgerald and Spitzer - it's good to hear there were dealers who made generous contributions.

On a different note, I totally forgot about the NADA's legal team that was soliciting dealer contributions. It seems fitting that their efforts and success in representing the dealers mirrored the NADA's performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Duvall View Post
Be sure that all my good luck didn't come without a load of survivor’s guilt. It makes sick to think of all the others that worked so hard and lost so much. And then I think about the dealers that colluded with GM and Chrysler to get the terminated franchises and then I want to hurt somebody...bad, real bad.
It's interesting you mention survivor's guilt - I was thinking about that when you first posted this thread. I remember learning about survivor's guild in a college psychology class and it's a real phenomenon that haunts some people.

In your case I think you can take comfort knowing that none of our members would harbor any resentment toward you for exercising your LOI. The anger of the OLDCO dealers who lost their stores is aimed at Chrysler, GM, the Task Force and the White House.

That said, I understand your feelings. There are so many dealers who were completely wiped out without any sound logic that it makes it difficult to be too joyous about your new relationship with Chrysler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Duvall View Post
In the end I learned allot and come to know a group of people that changed my life forever in a good way under bad circumstances. I also saw the worst come out of a group of people that shocked me. And I lost about all the respect I ever had for the NADA.
Great comments.

When I first started in the car business I could never understand why so many of the older dealers were skeptical, doubting and suspicious. As I've spent more time in the car business I can see how life experiences can alter one's perspective.

The Chrysler I knew and loved when I started in the car business never would have treated their OLDCO dealers the way they've been treated and the NADA would have had the courage to fight for ALL dealers.

Lessons learned.....
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by srt View Post
Don't stand too close to P. Grady as lighting may strike.
For the life of me I cannot fathom why Peter Grady still has a job.

He waged a senseless war with the OLDCO dealers that accomplished nothing, he green-lighted the building of a $30 Million Factory Store in Los Angeles that appears to violate State Franchise laws, his "Project Genesis" plans have drifted to the back-burner and his development of the Fiat Dealer Network has been a disaster.

Diaz gets sent to Mexico but Grady's still in Auburn Hills - sometimes Chrysler just doesn't make much sense.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:58 PM   #12
Txflyer
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Originally Posted by XDCX View Post
Diaz gets sent to Mexico but Grady's still in Auburn Hills - sometimes Chrysler just doesn't make much sense.
My guess would be that Grady's lips are a perfect fit for somoenes __________. (I'll let you fill in the blank).
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Old 08-28-2011, 06:31 PM   #13
The StraightShooter
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For the life of me I cannot fathom why Peter Grady still has a job.
Because in a REAL Bankruptcy ALL the dead wood gets cut.
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