Fiat Chrysler has responded to a lawsuit filed against it by an Illinois dealer group alleging it paid dealers to falsify sales, denying the claims and looking to have them thrown out, Automotive News reports.
On January 12th, Napleton Automotive Group filed a suit against FCA claiming the automaker had tried to get Napleton River Oaks Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram to report 23 vehicles sold in exchange for a $15,000 payment in the summer of 2015. The suit also claims FCA offered the dealer another $20,000 soon after to report 40 vehicles sold.
FCA said the claims are “replete with conclusory allegations, substitutes vitriol for plausibility, and relies on wholly illogical theories devoid of any legal support.” The automaker also says that the dealer sued FCA after one of its stores failed to post the “minimum level of sales that it had agreed to in its dealer agreements.”
FCA implements a “minimum sales responsibility,” metric to gauge dealer performance. This means dealers are, by contract, required to share a regions total sales based on FCA’s market share in that region. The automaker said it refused to exempt the Napleton store from the minimum sales responsibility, so the dealer group doubled down and sued them.
“This lawsuit is nothing more than the product of two disgruntled dealers who have failed to perform their obligations under the dealer agreements they signed with FCA US,” an FCA statement released in January said. “They have consistently failed to perform since at least 2012, and have also used the threats of litigation over the last several months in a wrongful attempt to compel FCA US to reserve special treatment for them, including the allocation of additional open points in the US FCA network.”