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Friday, 13 June 2014

France: CNPA takes Chevrolet to court

The Conseil National des Professions de l'Automobile states on its website (and the story is also in L'Argus) that it has responded to the 'brutal' termination of Chevrolet dealers' contracts by instituting proceedings before the Tribunal de Commerce de Paris (having originally sued in the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Pontoise but found that it would take too long to come to court). A hearing took place on 2 May, and a second hearing was fixed for 30 May, but there's no news that I can find about that.

The grounds for the complaint (translated from the French using Google Translate, with a little editing thereafter) are:
  • The brutality of the announcement of the withdrawal.
- The last contract was entered into in June 2013. This is obviously accompanied by investment requirements, a few weeks before the announcement of the withdrawal.
- Contractual loyalty would demand that the network be informed earlier (and at least before the press)!
- This is especially true since the registrations were continuously growing in France. Nobody expected this to happen!
  • Chevrolet's disloyalty.
The CNPA will provide the Tribunal with evidence that GM's decision is the outcome of a long reflection, intended to favour its other brand OPEL.
  • The notice was mortgaged before its notification [or might we say in English that it was a fait accompli?].
- Advertising campaigns about destocking until the exhaustion of stocks showed it to be true.
- Moreover, the delivery time for customers is at least 5 months (and the price of vehicles has increased, officially "among others due to the increase in VAT").
  • Breach of contract by Chevrolet, comprising:
- Lack of stock.
- The removal of demonstration vehicles.
- The removal of the budget estimate tool.
- The reduction and disappearance of the communication plan.
- The elimination of sales targets and action plans.
Another case to watch. 

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