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Auto Dealer Pushback Against Store Upgrade Mandates Intensifies


Even as New England dealer David Rosenberg heeds automakers' requests for store renovations, he braces himself for business disruption and millions of dollars in expense that he often considers pointless.

And he's not alone. While a dealership that attracts customers is important to retailers and automakers, some dealers and the brands they represent are at odds on whether automaker-mandated updates deliver any return on investment for the millions spent.

For Rosenberg, who operates 58 stores, it's one thing to overhaul a tired dealership in need of repair or build a new store when the business has outgrown its old one.

But a renovation at one of his already-nice luxury-brand dealerships won't "generate one more dollar" in revenue. And it will hurt business in the meantime.

"It's actually going to cost me a lot of money," said Rosenberg, CEO of Prime Automotive Group. "Never mind the construction cost, but the disruption to our facility and to our employees and our customers is going to be enormous."

Rosenberg is among a group of dealers getting increasingly vocal about the costly store investments.

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