An Oklahoma Chevrolet dealer wasn't willing to compromise.
An Oklahoma Chevrolet dealership owner has made it clear that he would rather sell off his franchise than remake his showroom to conform to the bowtie brand's distinctive style.
Norman, Oklahoma's Marc Heitz Chevrolet garnered attention earlier this year when news leaked out of Detroit that General Motors was upset over the dealership's "lodge"-style decor. The spat over payment of a $250,000 "dealer excellence" payment started when GM said it would revoke the sales-based spiff over the fact that the dealership's non-compliant decor.
Now, Marc Heitz says that he is selling his franchise to cross-town rival David Stanley for an undisclosed sum.
Heitz himself admits that he wasn't willing to give up "principles for money." He also told Automotive News that he was concerned about how the tiff with GM would affect "discretionary vehicle allocation," or the number and type of new Chevrolets the automaker would grant the dealership to sell.
The $250,000 per quarter payment came from GM's Essential Brand Elements program, under which dealers must conform to a certain showroom decor. While Marc Heitz Chevrolet was a high-buck affair, the dealer's Northwoods-inspired lodge decor simply didn't meet Chevrolet's goals.
New showroom owner Stanley says that the dealership will eventually be made over to conform, although no timeline has been set.