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CHEVROLET DEALER COUNCIL UNDERGOES HISTORIC CHANGES

 /ADVANCE/DETROIT, March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Chevrolet's National Dealer Council will become an "integral part of the decision-making process at Chevrolet" in an agreement reached at the conclusion of the annual meeting of the council last week.
 Dealer Council Chairman George Whitlow of Whitlow Chevrolet in Richmond, Va., and Chevrolet General Manager Jim Perkins jointly announced what they termed the "historic agreement" which will dramatically change the way the council functions and how it is made up.
 Highlights of the final session of the dealer council meeting at which the agreement was reached will be broadcast on Channel 2 of GM's Pulsat television network at 4 p.m. Monday, March 8, and again several times later in the week.
 Under the new arrangement, the 28 zones that make up Chevrolet's new field sales and service structure each will elect one representative to the dealer council. (The current council has 17 members elected from various areas of the country.)
 While the new council will meet twice a year as it does now, most of the work now will be done in frequent meetings of nine subcommittees addressing all key areas of the business.
 "Instead of having confrontational meetings twice a year, now we'll have an ongoing process of sharing ideas to solve mutual problems as they come up," said Whitlow and Perkins.
 "In this, the 56th year of the Chevrolet National Dealer Council, we are moving away from confrontation and embracing collaboration as we go forward," they said, adding that "both business partners need to bring openness, flexibility and mutual respect to the table, in order for the new process to succeed."
 According to Whitlow and Perkins, the members of the council will serve three-year terms (vs. two years now) to provide better continuity. A new council member would be assigned to a subcommittee in his or her first year, move to a subcommittee chairmanship the next year, and be available as a mentor to incoming new members the third year.
 "With a third of the membership elected each year, the Chevrolet management/dealer team will have a constant stream of fresh input from all over the country," they said.
 The two executives said that a key element of the new structure would be regular feedback to the rest of the dealer organization through elected council representatives. An advisory team has been formed to determine the most effective way to provide timely feedback on the work of the subcommittees.
 The new subcommittee structure will cover:
 -- Service and warranty;
 -- GMAC (with representation from that GM subsidiary);
 -- Car and truck distribution;
 -- Marketing-advertising-merchandising;
 -- Service parts (with representation from GM Service Parts Operations);
 -- Product design and quality (split into separate car and truck groups);
 -- Dealer organization and finance (special focus on GM's Project 2000); and
 -- Total Customer Enthusiasm (a new process within Chevrolet to totally change the culture of both the wholesale and retail organizations).
 The new arrangement is the culmination of efforts begun in 1989 to involve dealers more directly in the business. Shortly after Chevrolet put in place its segment planning and engineering organization, a series of dealer product advisory committees was established, covering the seven product segment areas in which Chevrolet competes. Last year, a marketing strategy team was established. Both committees will continue, but now will include membership from the dealer council itself.
 -0- 3/8/93
 /CONTACT: Dave Hudgens of Chevrolet, 313-492-8846/
 (GM)


CO: Chevrolet Motor Division ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

ML-SM -- DE024 -- 3563 03/05/93 16:06 EST
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Date:Mar 5, 1993
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