USA: Depleted Oldsmobile to linger on into next year
The death of Oldsmobile seems likely to occur some time during 2005, according to a report from the national car dealers convention in Las Vegas.
Associated Press (AP) said the General Motors division has already stopped making the Intrigue, Aurora and, in the past week, the Bravada sport utility vehicle, leaving only two models - the Alero passenger car and Silhouette minivan.
GM's vice president of industry-dealer affairs, Darwin Clark, told AP a final date to end production has not been set, but business likely will continue into part of 2005.
An Oldsmobile dealer told the news agency that last weekend's gathering of Olds dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention is the last.
AP said Clark and other GM representatives have been working with Olds dealers for more than two years on separation arrangements. When the decision was made to scrap the brand, Olds has 2,802 dealers in the United States and, by last week, all but 176 had signed settlement packages.
Of those 176, AP added, some settlements are in progress but others are tied up in legal action taken by dealers unhappy with the terms of their proposed settlements.
According to Associated Press, GM has declined to discuss details of the settlements or pending lawsuits but, in January 2001, company took a charge against earnings of $US939 million for the Oldsmobile phase-out.
Oldsmobile transition director Bill Stacy told AP that just over 1,500 dealers already have chosen to exit the Olds business while another 1,300 or so remain active.
Many dealers remain in the car business because 94% of them sold another GM brand at the time of the 2001 announcement, AP noted.