Today, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl sent the following letter to Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV), and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Kohl urges tough questioning of James Press, President of Chrysler and Fritz Henderson, CEO of GM who are scheduled to testify at the Commerce Committee hearing tomorrow discussing the GM and Chrysler dealership closures nationwide.
June 2, 2009
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison
Chairman Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science,
And Transportation And Transportation
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Rockefeller and Ranking Member Hutchison:
As you prepare for your hearing regarding the GM and Chrysler dealership closings, I want to share with you the concerns passed on to me by dealers in my State. I have no doubt that your questioning will be rigorous and insightful. I feel the issues raised by Wisconsin dealers, however, reflect the anxiety and pressure felt by dealers across the country and deserve to be addressed by the auto executives.
Despite promises to the contrary, I'm disturbed by reports from my constituents that Chrysler has given dealers little or no help during the difficult closing process. Dealers in my state have serious unanswered questions. I hope that Mr. Press, the President of Chrysler, will face tough questions about unfulfilled promises to assist dealers who lost their franchise agreements and were given only three weeks to close their doors. In addition, I would like to hear details from the CEO of GM, Mr. Henderson, about the assistance that GM intends to provide to those dealers facing the loss of their franchise agreements.
With Monday's bankruptcy filing, GM dealers across the country anxiously await word on whether they will be one of the planned 2,100 closures. GM dealers want to know if they will be given the same abbreviated time frame that Chrysler dealers faced. I expect the hearing will highlight this issue, and look forward to hearing the answers provided by executives.
I look forward to tomorrow's hearing, and to reviewing the witnesses' testimony. Our constituents - the dealers, their employees and the communities they are such an integral part of -- deserve real answers. Thank you for your hard work on this issue, and for your consideration of my request. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
United States Senator