more and more difficult to raise sufficient capital to become dealers. Under D.E. the individual would become the President and General Manager of the local corporation and a Member of its Board of Directors. This local person was to be entitled to an annual bonus of 25% of the corporation's profits before taxes, but was subject to the obligation to use one-half of the bonus in buying Chrysler's investment, represented by stock in the local corporation.
D.E. did not provide a complete solution to the problem because many individuals who desired to become Chrysler Dealers found difficulty in supplying even 25% of the capital necessary to open a dealership. Chrysler was experiencing declining sales and an inability to secure dealers. In 1958 it had sustained net losses of $34,000,000.00 and in 1959 they had losses of $5,000,000.00. Its share of the United States' automobile market dropped from 20% to 10%.
Thus, in 1961, Chrysler broadened its dealer franchising arrangements so as to supply initially 100% of the capital necessary to open a dealership, such dealerships being known as "Contractual Dealerships" (hereinafter called Contractual); this plan covered the situation until the Manager, either through profits or from other sources, purchased 25% of the stock and could thus come under D.E. In 1964, Chrysler further broadened the plan to lend the individual up to one-half of the money necessary to enable him to buy 25% of the stock to participate in D.E.
As a result of the success of the Contractual and D.E. Plans, the total number of Dodge Dealerships rose from 2559 at the end of 1961 to 3135 in 1972, of which 3004 were Private Capital Dealerships. While the number of new Private Capital Dodge Dealerships appointed each year varied between 101 and 525, the new Dodge Dealerships wholly or partially financed by Chrysler did not exceed 83. During the same period, that is from 1961 to 1972, Chrysler's share of the United States' automobile market rose from 10.8% to 14.4%, and the Dodge sales increased from 3.9% to 5.7%. This is the general background for our analysis of the situation in the instant case.
In the subsequent discussion, we apply the well recognized rule of law that the verdict winner is entitled to the benefit of all evidence in its favor, regardless of who produced that evidence, and all favorable inferences deducible therefrom. United States v. Evers, 448 F.2d 863 (3rd Cir. 1971); Neville Chemical Company v. Union Carbide Corporation, 422 F.2d 1205 (3rd Cir. 1970), cert. denied 400 U.S. 826, 91 S. Ct. 51, 27 L. Ed. 2d 55; Jarka Corp. v. Mitsui Sempaku K.K., 405 F.2d 763 (3rd Cir. 1967), cert. denied 394 U.S. 920, 89 S. Ct. 1195, 22 L. Ed. 2d 453; Walsh v. Miehle-Goss-Dexter Inc., 378 F.2d 409 (3rd Cir. 1967); Globe Motors, Inc. v. Studebaker-Packard Corporation, 328 F.2d 645 (3rd Cir. 1964); Bruce Lincoln-Mercury, Inc. v. Universal C.I.T. Credit Corp., 325 F.2d 2 (3rd Cir. 1963).
A. SHERMAN ACT -- CONTRACT, COMBINATION OR CONSPIRACY.
The first count of the Complaint dealt with the charge that Chrysler was in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which in relevant part reads as follows:
"Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, * * * is declared to be illegal:" (15 U.S.C.A. § 1)