From the 'how does this make sense' file, Fiat Chrysler Automobile is planning to expand its dealer network in the U.S. by adding around 380 new dealers. This news first came to light last week as Automotive News learned from two dealers and a source at FCA about the plans. The goal of this expansion is to try and expand market share. But there are a number of issues. For one, FCA has been seeing its sales and market share drop in the past few months due to a thinner product lineup.
Second, some of the locations that FCA is planning to put new stores are within a few miles of existing stores. For example, two dealers in Louisana have filed protests with Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission for a proposed dealer in Kenner, LA. One of the dealers notes in their protest that the location is less than five miles from where they are. As they say in their protest, "will either be closer to Bergeron or, worse, must drive by Bergeron, if they are going to do business with the new point." A number of dealers in Texas have also filed complaints on new dealerships in their respective areas.
Finally, an internal FCA source tells Automotive News that the company's dealership location consultant, Urban Science doesn't agree with the expansion plans. The data from the consultant "does not support these additional points."
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Urban Sciences were unable to comment.