Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp. said it may lose as many as 500 dealers in its home market this year, an increase from 350 last year, as the largest U.S. automaker works toward a goal of cutting 1,700 by 2012.
The reduction will widen in part because of the strain of a fourth straight year of U.S. auto-sales declines and a company initiative to trim brands and emphasize only Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick, GM North American President Mark LaNeve said in an interview today. GM may also have to spend more to convince some of its 6,400 dealers to consolidate, he said.
Culling dealerships and brands is part of GM's plan that also includes trimming labor and debt costs to convince the U.S. Treasury Department that the Detroit-based automaker can survive and repay $13.4 billion in promised federal loans. GM has said it will fail without government loans.