In a breach of contract suit filed by authorized dealers of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), dealers alleged that FCA falsified sales figures to artificially inflate the value of the company’s shares with the purpose of supporting their claim of unbroken year-to-year sales streak. FCA allegedly offered discriminatory allocations to dealers in return for their agreements to report unsold vehicles as sold to help inflate monthly sales figures. This action in essence “stacked the deck” against plaintiff dealers. The false sales figures were used to subsidize dealers that were in competition with plaintiffs. Infotech Consulting was hired by plaintiffs to perform a damages analysis to determine whether FCA’s system of allocation unfairly discriminated against plaintiffs in favor of competitor dealers, and, if so, the loss of sales resulting from this behavior. Infotech Consulting obtained data from 62 FCA dealers on vehicle sales, planning potential, discretionary allocation, and regular allocation. Our expert analysis determined that there was, in fact, discrimination that resulted in lost sales and commensurate lost profits to select FCA dealers. With help from Infotech Consulting, plaintiffs were able to secure a favorable undisclosed settlement.
Napleton’s Arlington Heights Motors, Inc., et al. v. FCA US, LLC, et al., Case No. 1:16-cv-0403 (US District Court for the N.D. of Illinois)