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GM promises to fix parts shortages

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GM promises to fix parts shortages

Chrissie Thompson

Automotive News -- February 22, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

ORLANDO -- General Motors Co.'s dealers have complained of repair parts shortages, but that problem should end this year, executives told dealers at an invitation-only luncheon here.

Dealers say back-ordered parts range from engine motor mounts for Northstar V-8 engines to steering rack-and-pinion assemblies for large crossovers to trim items for Hummers.

But GM's Kevin Williams, who leads the automaker's North American service and parts operations, told dealers at the Feb. 14 luncheon he now calls himself the "back-order czar."

Said Carey Hamilton, a Nebraska Chevrolet dealer: "By the end of this year, they said they would be on par with other manufacturers."

GM spokesman John McDonald said reducing parts back orders is a top priority for GM.

"We realize that any back order is a customer who's not happy. They have a problem we can't fix," he said.

GM expects to complete in March the process of re-sourcing parts made by bankrupt suppliers, which has caused most of the problems, McDonald said. He declined to say how many parts are back-ordered, but he said GM reduced the number by 15 percent from December to January. The automaker also is increasing its parts inventory by $30 million and is shipping parts to dealers from all of its parts distribution centers, not just the one closest to a dealer, McDonald said.

The GM luncheon took the place of a make meeting and exhibit space because GM pulled out of major convention activities. The automaker had a disagreement with NADA over the dealer group's support of a law passed in December that gives arbitration rights to the 1,350 dealers cut as part of GM's bankruptcy last spring.

But NADA officials and GM executives met the day before the luncheon and said they were moving on from that dispute.

So GM executives told dealers they've already agreed to have an exhibit at the NADA convention next year in San Francisco.


• GM vows to end shortages of repair parts.

• Executives move on from feud with NADA.

• GM will have exhibit space at next year's convention.

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