By on May 14, 2009

Chrysler has come within 11 dealers of confirming media reports that it would terminate 800 US dealers (dowload pdf list of 789 terminated ChyrCo dealers here). This as the bankrupt automaker steps-up its efforts to satisfy its federal overlords and prepare for Fiat’s command and control. Oh, and emerge from C11 as a viable automaker. Automotive News [AN, sub] has intercepted a memo from the corporate mothership highlighting the company’s care and concern towards the dead stores not selling. “Dealers are learning of their fate via UPS letters to be delivered this morning, the memo says. Dealers will get 23 business days for a ‘court review’ of their cases, according to the memo, from a sales manager to district dealers. ”All of this information is subject to change,” the memo says. Music to the dealers’ lawyers’ ears, presumably. Meanwhile, NADA . . .

The National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) reckons each Chrysler dealership employs about 48 people. Using that formula, they estimate today’s ChyrCo dealer cull will throw 37,872 people out of work. Yes, well, today’s termination represents represents just 24.7 percent of Chrysler’s franchisees. So if you call this round one, pre-Fiat, you wouldn’t be going too far out on that prognostication limb, thing. AN gives us the rest of the salient details.

• Chrysler, because it is under Bankruptcy Court protection, will not be required to buy back vehicles, tools or parts from rejected dealers.
• Chrysler will match rejected dealers with accepted dealers, who will buy back parts, tools and vehicles.
• Rejected dealers will continue to sell vehicles, and Chrysler will continue to pay incentives and warranty charges until June 9.
• Chrysler says it won’t abandon retail customers, and will pay for “towing services, etc.”
• About 4 million customers of rejected dealers—“orphan owners”—will get letters explaining the situation.

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65 Comments on “Chrysler Kills 11 Fewer Dealers Than Reported (789)...”


  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    You would think that being a dealer would get you at least phone call telling you to ‘foxtrot’ off.

  • avatar
    Airhen

    So will these dealers have a fire sale?

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    A genuine man bites dog story.

    When car dealers rip off customers it’s not news because it happens so often. But when a bunch of dealers get ripped off, that’s news!

  • avatar
    dwford

    So will these dealers have a fire sale?

    Well, since Chrysler won’t be buying the cars back, I would guess so. I wonder how long these dealers will try to hide the fact they are closing from their customers. There must be a few more suckers to fleece before the firesale, no?

    My question is, does this take effect immediately, or is there a termination date. How many dealers will give up quietly, and how many will sue?

  • avatar
    new caledonia

    Wow! A quick look shows that the Chicago area is losing a boatload of dealers. Wonder if they’ll give the remaining dealers franchises for the brands they don’t carry. For example, Westside Dodge of North Aurora is a Dodge dealer no more. Will River Front Chrysler-Jeep across the street become River Front Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge? Or is it a moot point anyway?

  • avatar
    threeer

    The bigger question regarding any perceived “firesale” is…who cares? People aren’t rushing to buy Chrysler products…unless they decide to do something like a half-off sale (and even then…), I can’t see those stockpiled vehicles flying off of these dealer’s lots…

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    12 in Georgia… but many of them are actually in rural or ex-urb areas.

    One interesting aside. It looks like they’re sending the letters to the ‘office’ address. Justin Dodge for example is actually in Calhoun… and has already shuttered it’s doors.

    They will still need to close another 1000 dealers to get as lean as the Toyonda networks. This is just the weakest part of the iceberg.

  • avatar
    Hippo

    1/2 off Jeep might be OK, parts fit across a bunch of years and there is a good aftermarket.

  • avatar
    RickCanadian

    • Chrysler says it won’t abandon retail customers, and will pay for “towing services, etc.”

    Given Chrysler’s quality record, that must be a huge relief for many customers… Wait, are you talking about those “towing services”??

  • avatar
    50merc

    789 rounds to 800. Close enough for government work.

  • avatar

    The closing dealers located in my neck of the woods won’t be missed much. The one I am most familiar with looks like a BHPH operation ( no offense Mr. Lang ) that doesn’t own a broom.

  • avatar
    gamper

    My local Dodge Dealer got hit. There looked to be about 20 or so dealerships set to close in Michigan, about half of those in the Detroit area. I would have thought most of them would be safe considering the captive market.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    In the Indianapolis area, looks like the biggest losers are Dodge-only dealers. 2 are right across or down the street from Chrysler Jeep dealers, and the third is in an area that seems to be slowly losing dealerships of all kinds due to demographics.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    I see quite a few dealers in this area that needed to be shut down just based on their poor service alone. Let alone the fact that their sales numbers were probably crap, too. I know of one on that list that I actually cheer the demise of. I won’t say who, but suffice it to say that I’m ecstatic to see the Mid-Cities Chrysler-Jeep franchise bite the dust. Those of you from my area probably know what I’m talking about….

  • avatar

    Wow both Newnan places got hit….John Cullen Dodge has a lovely 4dr Si I may have to go take a look at.

    Any idea on how dealerships that have multiple brands, for example, Flanagan’s has Mazda/Lincoln/Mercury as well, will be affected?

  • avatar
    morbo

    So with the 3 DCJ dealers in my area (coastal South Jersey) that closed recently, combined with the three that will be forced to close, there will be 2 DCJ dealers, (actually one D and 1 JC, combined with Eurasian co-brands), for an area 60 miles North/South and 30 miles East/West.

    And the two remaining dealers are 2 miles apart.

    Absolute, frickin Genius. Even the 3 Honda dealers and 2 Toyota dealers in the same area are at least geogaphically spread out.

  • avatar

    I see many small town North and South Dakota dealerships culled on the list. Many of them are standalone Jeep stores which converted after Chrysler bought out AMC in 1987.

    Superior AZ and Wickenburg AZ dealerships are also closing, both are really tiny operations with just a few cars. There’s hardly anything left in Superior.

    Only one big dealership closing in the Phoenix area, the one just down the road from looks like it’s been spared. I might have to drive by the one that’s lost it’s franchise and see what they do with car prices.

    It could be telling for one the GM dealer cull begins.

  • avatar
    MikeyDee

    Morbo,

    I’m from central NJ and Liccardi near me (RT 22) is getting the ax. This is a huge store about three city blocks long. I know this store moves a lot of units, so there must be some other criteria (customer complaints perhaps?).

    Or could it be that the F&I manager was related to Tony Soprano?

  • avatar
    TonUpBoi

    Where it’s going to get interesting is in the smaller, rural towns. The Richmond area didn’t interest me all that much (we lost one, but the big Dodge dealer closed up about six weeks ago). However, when I checked back on my old home town of Johnstown, PA . . . . .

    The Dodge only dealer is history. The guy was my best friend in high school, and HIS father was my dad’s used car manager back in the 50’s and 60’s when dad was the Chevy dealer. Good, sold dealership, the kind that a lot of people really don’t want to believe exists nowadays. A Jeep dealer I didn’t know is also going.

    Go to the next town over (Windber) and that Dodge dealer is gone. Next one out (Somerset – 20 miles, and Ligonier (ditto) are being closed. Go to the next decent sized city, Altoona, and an old Chrysler shop is going.

    I’m getting the feeling that New Chrysler is completely giving up on Western PA between Pittsburgh and Harrisburgh. Then again, Fiat’s ain’t gonna sell in a shot-and-a-beer town like Johnstown. There’s the idea of a small car says Harley Davidson on the tank.

  • avatar
    carm

    What does close really mean? If a dealer has another line, say Subaru, they are not closed just no longer selling Chrysler products. Does anyone know the criteria for closing?

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    I suspect people will have to wait for the Chrysler fire sales.

    These dealerships are almost all corporations or LLCs. Many of the rejected dealers are going to have to declare bankruptcy, and if they anticipate that they are just going to sit on their inventory until it is liquidated in Chapter 7.

    If the owners have personally guaranteed loans then they may try to sell cars cheap now instead of getting seriously put on the hook later.

    Many of these dealers own their land, and many of those dealers were propbably smart enough to put the land into a separate entity (kind of like Chrysler HQ). So many of the dealers will be able to BK the dealership but keep the land (and even make claims against the dealership entitity for any unpaid lease payments).

    At some point there are going to be some damn cheap Chryslers. Unfortunately there are no good Chryslers except the Viper and Ram, but fortunately the fire sale Chrysler prices will force everyone else to lower their prices.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    An interesting question for someone with dealership experience: Did Chrysler financial require dealers to personally guarantee floor plan loans?

    If so this is going to be really bad for the dealers. While Chrysler gets to coast through the easy ride that a corporate bankruptcy is the dealers will be forced through the post “bankruptcy reform” hell of personal bankruptcy because of their personally guaranteed floor plan loans. Since it is a business bankruptcy they may be able to avoid the means testing requirements, but the dealers will still be forced to deal with shit like credit counseling.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    @no_slushbox : Do you not think that the closed dealers would sell inventory to dealerships that kept their dealer agreements?

  • avatar
    dwford

    I wonder how many dealers will actually close the store. After all, they are just losing the Chrysler franchise. They could remain open as a used car store. If they are propped up by used car sales, they may be less motivated to blow out the new cars. Of course, the market sets the price, so they won’t have much choice…

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    superbadd75:

    Everything will move at a price, but the “rejected” dealers did not buy their inventory with cash, and they are now severely underwater. The “accepted” dealers are not going to want to buy these excess cars.

    These “rejected” dealers are talking with their attorneys right now about whether it makes more sense to sell the cars at a loss now or just throw in the towel and let a bankruptcy trustee deal with it.

  • avatar

    It has already begun. Yesterday, I drove past a strip of stores in Yorktown, NY. One was a Ford dealer, and all his “other” stores, the Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Subaru, used cars, etc. All are closed save the “ford” dealer. A good half mile of empty glass boxes surrounded by big lots.

    On another nearby strip, the GM store (Pontiac, Caddy) is now gone. Toyota/Nissan rules. The big Chevy dealer, the one that’s been there “forever”, is now Honda but owned by the same person.

    In my town, the Dodge Dealer is gone. The Jeep/Chrysler store (separate) is surviving on a strip of used cars in the front. He took his “GM” sign down and and products off the lot about six months ago. It’s now a chryco only store, surrounded by mostly trucks that don’t move. There are two nice SRT Challengers in the window.

    Going over to Bedford Hills, NY (a very desirable demographic)all of the secondary dealers are also closed. The “high end” used cars…gone. The Range Rover store migrated back to the main dealer, as did the BMW satellite showroom, and the Mitsubishi store in that area. Lots of prime open retail (auto) property is “available”.

    All the expansion of the last ten years is totally gone-even stores that renovated and have new and modern showrooms have retreated to that one building.

    These stores are all in high income areas relative to the rest of the US. Property values here were already very high so there is less “boom and bubble” but if things are dry here…..

  • avatar
    50merc

    “Steven Lang: “12 in Georgia… but many of them are actually in rural or ex-urb areas.”

    That’s my impression, too, from a quick look at the list for dealerships in areas I’m familiar with. It appears this will force many Mopar owners to go twenty miles or even much further for warranty work.

    The list has quite a few outlets with only one line; e.g., Jeep only or Chrysler only. It’d be nice to have a searchable database to facilitate analysis.

    The dealer in a city where I once lived is on the list. I recall going with my buddy to look at the ’57 Chryslers. A light touch on a window crank and it fell off. The seeds were being sown…

  • avatar
    50merc

    “Accepted” dealers will not be eager to buy inventory from “Rejected” dealers if there’s fear the Acceptees will become Rejectees when the next round of terminations is announced.

    And at some point the amoung of interest on inventory-related debt becomes crushing. That is, if they can still find a lender willing to finance the extra inventory.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    Woah, two big dealers in the Portland Metro area are on the list: Timberline and Alan Webb. I’m really surprised to see either there. Timberline is a Chryco only store too, I think.

  • avatar
    Airhen

    threeer :
    May 14th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    The bigger question regarding any perceived “firesale” is…who cares? People aren’t rushing to buy Chrysler products…unless they decide to do something like a half-off sale (and even then…), I can’t see those stockpiled vehicles flying off of these dealer’s lots…

    They have a few vehicles people want, such as the Wrangler. I certainly wasn’t talking about the Compass. :)

  • avatar
    windswords

    morbo:

    “So with the 3 DCJ dealers in my area (coastal South Jersey) that closed recently, combined with the three that will be forced to close, there will be 2 DCJ dealers, (actually one D and 1 JC, combined with Eurasian co-brands), for an area 60 miles North/South and 30 miles East/West.”

    I went thru the PDF list to see what was closing in my old stomping ground of South Jersey/Northern Delaware. Most of the stores will stay open that I have used or knew about. Lillistan Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge trucks where I bought my first new car is good. Price and Kirkwood Dodge in New Castle, DE escaped the cut as did Brandywine CJ. I was surprised to see Berlin Chrysler on the White Horse Pike in Berlin NJ get the cut but then according to the PDF it only sells Chrysler. Downer Motors didn’t make it. I’m surprised that dealership is still around. It’s located in the proverbial podunk town of Elmer NJ and the dealer is so small you would miss it if you blinked. I’ve seen upper middle income homes bigger than their showroom/office/service bays.

    dwford:

    “I wonder how many dealers will actually close the store. After all, they are just losing the Chrysler franchise. They could remain open as a used car store.”

    Or they could already be dualed with another maker. That’s why I don’t believe the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) numbers of 37,872 people out of work.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I looked at the dealerships in Washington on the list. Both the Dodge and Chrysler dealers in Tacoma get the ax (but the guy with the C store has a string of dealerships). Both the Jeep and Chrysler stores in Longview get it. Both the Jeep and Chrysler stores in Yakima get it. I do not get it. Does this corporation have an animus against certain cities?

    As for the rest, Wenatchee, Kennewick, Port Angeles, Ritzville, Bellingham, Burlington, Pasco, Vancouver. Chosen by shotgun, dart board, or the dexterous digit of destiny, who can say?

  • avatar
    rochskier

    Here in western NY most of the dealers that got greased seem to be the weakest of the weak sisters. They are all less than full-line dealers and they have, uh, varying reputations.

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Here’s a question for the best and brightest –

    I know that in the retail business, when you have inventory, it remains listed as an asset at its original value – not its declining actual value – until you move it out of inventory.

    Will the dealers who declare bankruptcy be better served to keep the cars and use them as assets (at their book value) against what’s owed than to liquidate them and (by selling below book value) lower their worth as assets?

    Since that’s clear as mud to me, and I wrote it, let me try to rephrase….

    The dealer owes $100K in debts. He has 10 Calibers in stock, each theoretically worth $15K. If he sells them each for $9K, he’s still $10K in the hole. But if he keeps them, in theory he has $150K in assets against his $100K debt.

    Ok, now you guys who know tell me how it really works, please.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Observations…

    1. Belvedere, IL C-D-J point is closed. B&B, please explain to the rest of the class the significance and the future implications of this termination.

    2. Lots of remote points in the sticks were closed. Flyover, drive-by country. Areas where rural men work the land, drive trucks, battle the elements. And where do you think these buyers are going for their next new trucks, now that the nearest Dodge or Jeep point is hundreds of miles away?

    3. The economic impact on these small towns will be quite significant, and much more disastrous than it will be for larger cities experiencing closures. Paging Mr Obama.

    4. Singles and doubles were the majority of closures, while comparitively few 3-packs were whacked.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Oh, and one more.

    Several closed points are listed more than once. Same dealer, but different dealer code. I’m guessing that the actual closure list is actually less than 789.

  • avatar
    Srynerson

    Only 12 dealers in Colorado, about 50%-50% rural and Denver suburbs (only one in Denver itself) and that’s counting the Medved Autoplex twice since it apparently had two legally distinct Chrysler dealerships at the same location (one CJ, the other DTCJ).

  • avatar

    The Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealer in my small town survived the cut. I don’t know how many vehicles he is moving these days, but he is 65 miles from the next closest Mopar dealer. Also, since the local GM dealer stopped selling new cars he is now the only new car dealer in town. The nearest competing dealer is Ford place 12 miles away in the next small town.

    At the end of February several transporters showed up at the local GM store and hauled away all but two of the new cars. I’m guessing this dealer lost his floor plan and his inventory was reposessed. Since last month the service department has been closed and there are no new cars, just a dozen or so used ones. There is also a big for sale sign out by the highway.

  • avatar
    MikeInCanada

    Is there a list available of dealers that have been ‘selected’?

    Hurray Internet!

  • avatar
    Monty

    Can’t access the PDF. Shoot, I wanted to see if any Canadian dealers were being given the shaft sent Dear John letters.

    Can someone list any Canuck dealers for me?

  • avatar

    Last week CT went through the motions of speeding a bill through the legislature to update the state’s franchise laws.

    Governor Rell went on TV to sign the bill at the East Hartford CJD(maybe T) dealer.

    The legislation puts in place new protections for dealers so they will not be left in a financial bind for new car inventories, tools or parts when a manufacturer shuts down a product line. In addition, the bill clarifies details of franchise agreements and creates a new system for reimbursing warranty service and labor costs. It also requires payment of the fair market value of the goodwill of a franchise if a product line is shut down.

    “We have already seen Pontiac fade away and lines like Saturn, Saab and Hummer are on the chopping block,” Governor Rell said. “All of these are important protections for Connecticut dealers and they come at a critical time. I thank the Legislature for passing this bill quickly and I am pleased to sign it.”

    [emphasis mine]

    Good luck with those parts in bold! On TV I saw the Governor say that she expected car companies to buy back tools, cars and inventory if they kill a brand.

    The real question, to me, is why the pols in CT think that any of this will hold sway with a federal bankruptcy judge?

    I note, in passing, that the dealer where the bill was signed is not on this closings list.

  • avatar
    kaleun

    Don Miller in Madison WI lost two stores…. they must have had 3 because the Dodge store on the same lot as their Mazda dealership (where I bring my 2 Mazdas) is not on the list. they also have a Pontiac dealership on the same lot. Ouch… I hope they stay in business because their service is awesome (for Mazda anyway).

    honestly, they could just run that one dealership with all 3 of the Chrysler brands. There was never a need to have single-brand dealers when the company has multiple brands anyway.

    One time I was waiting for my Mazda oil-change and test drove a Caliber to kill some time. what a piece of junk for more money (at similar equipment) than my Mazda 3 5-door. and the Dodge sales guy must have been new to the business (and to cars in general) because he knew absolutely nothing about cars.

  • avatar
    rodster205

    13 in Alabama, 4 of which are in metro Birmingham. The only good one is Don Drennan Chry-Jeep (and Buick) in Hoover, which is where I bought my Jeep. Just last weekend the owner of the dealership (Ward Drennan, 3rd generation and good manager) was all over the radio with commercials about how “Chrysler was taking care of it’s customers and would emerge stronger, and they (dealership) would continue to provide the great service they always did.” Now he looks like an idiot.

    I don’t think Ward Drennan is stupid or a liar. If he had any idea he was on the list I seriously doubt he would have been running commercials defending Chrysler.

  • avatar
    Old Guy Ben

    It’s a brave person to buy a Chrysler / Jeep without knowing for sure the warranty will be honored.

    That said, ever since I bought my Toyota the dealer has had nothing but excuses why this or that is not covered by the (expensive. extended) warranty.

  • avatar
    Old Guy Ben

    I thought I understood it, but maybe not.

    How, exactly, does terminating dealer franchises help Chrysler? Does it cost them money to have a dealer in Podunk, Texas with a Chrysler sign out front?

  • avatar

    It makes sense to terminate dealers if there are competing stores in the same market. For example, Sandy Sansing Chrysler in Pensacola, Florida is on the close list. They are right next Door to Hill Kelly Dodge who also owns a Jeep store just up the highway. Does Pensacola really need two Mopar dealers, or would closing one make the other stronger? In this case, close Sansing’s dealership and put Chrysler in with the Hill Kelly Dodge-Jeep dealership. Sansing owns a Chevrolet-Nissan-BMW store across the highway, so he will be fine (unless GM also gives him the axe – Pensacola also two Chevy dealers).

  • avatar
    Old Guy Ben

    So it’s to help the dealers?

    Because if Mopar is going to sell 20 cars in Pensacola, it shouldn’t really matter if it was from one dealership or two or five. They won’t necessarily sell MORE cars with fewer dealers.

    I can see from a dealer perspective you may not want the competition.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    WOW, seems like every Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep dealership in my area (metro DC) is gone, especially in Montgomery County.

    I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a brand new dirt cheap 4WD Jeep Patriot Limited. I’ve always liked that car.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    reduce bloated dealer network…..

    Isn’t that supposed to be a good thing?

  • avatar

    Wow they ‘re terminating congressman Vern Buchanan’s dealership in Venice. That might come back to bite them in the ass

  • avatar
    Old Guy Ben

    Here’s a useful map of Chrysler / Dodge closings.

    If they add the 1000+ GM closings (expected any day now) it could look very crowded, indeed.

    Meanwhile Congress might give more of our money to the dealers to let them enjoy some Bailoutedness

  • avatar
    Colinpolyps

    After a quick scan of the list what was significant to me was a lack of axed dealers in California. Does that mean Mopar products sell well there or that there never were many dealers?
    Looks as if the eastern seaboard and mid west dealers really took it on the chin.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “After a quick scan of the list what was significant to me was a lack of axed dealers in California.”

    I don’t think there are as many Chrysler dealerships per potential customer here in California as there are in the east and midwest. Hence Santa Clara County (aka Silicon Valley) didn’t loose a single one in this cull. But, there were only four to start with serving a population of of about 1.75 million people.

  • avatar

    According to the evening news:

    The real bonus is that Chryco is NOT buying back the cars…they have to be sold to other dealers AT AUCTION. Do I recall correctly that up until recently Chryco was stuffing the dealers with cars ? Talk about a screwing. “Here, eat this…and this…and this…What, you ripped your pants ? It’s all your fault, you fat bastard !”

    I hope the dealers all have homes in Florida. They will need somewhere to live after personal bankrupcy. (FL has an unlimited home exemption for bankruptcy).

    So, the 40k sticker Hemi 300C, which would be sold to us for 37k and still make $ for the dealer, will be sold below real (whatever that actually is) dealer cost to another dealer.

    ugly, very ugly. They could have at least taken the cars back. Some very expensive booze is being opened tonite……

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    Chrysler isn’t buying back the rejected dealers’ inventory. However, according to the motion filed in court, as of June 9 all that inventory turns into a pumpkin, so to speak, because after that date the dealers are forbidden from selling any new vehicles on pain of being hauled into court on a kind of contempt charge. The alleged solution is that they will be “matched” with other dealers to dump the inventory. However, can ChryCo FORCE any other dealer to buy up all of a rejectee’s inventory? At any particular price? “You want me to take all your Sebrings? Sure. Four grand apiece.” I get the feeling we will end up with hundreds of cars in limbo, belonging to dealers who can’t legally sell them. Until the dealers file bankruptcy themselves. (Hmmm. Can the dealer’s BK trustee sell the cars, or is he/she violating the injunction after June 9?)

  • avatar
    skor

    Two local Chrysler dealers, as well as a Jeep dealer got the ax.

    On the flip side, the local BMW dealer is expanding. Check out their new 40 bay service department. Now that’s what I call a garage.

    http://www.parkavebmw.com/new-bmw-service-center.htm

  • avatar
    cory02

    I guess the question now is at what price is a new Chrysler product attractive? I would be tempeted to pick up an Avenger or Sebring with uConnect to drive to work and save miles on my primary car….but only at a steep discount.

  • avatar
    telrbm1

    I tried to, “do the right thing,” and do business with one of them about a month ago, with their employee pricing ++ promotion.

    The deal I got on a 300C Heritage still favored the dealer heavily, and they wouldn’t budge. The dealer wouldn’t contribute ANYTHING to the deal (it was all Chrysler & Chrysler Financial money on the hood), and then wanted me to take it quite deep on the trade. The dealer itself would have made THOUSANDS on me. Wouldn’t budge one inch.

    I took my business elsewhere, got the deal I wanted on a non-Chrysler product, and they are now out of business. Good riddance to every one of the turds on this list.

  • avatar
    rottenbob

    So will these dealers have a fire sale?

    I’ll believe it when I see it. On the last weekend in April, and then again on the first weekend in May, I visited Jeep dealerships and attempted to buy a Jeep Patriot. Let me tell you this: these dealers are living in Fantasyland! It is as though they are completely unaware that Chryco is in bankruptcy, or that the nation is mired in a recession! They wanted top dollar for the vehicle. It was absurd. Jeep Patriot sales for April 2009 are -69% from April 2008. I think part of the reason for the sharp drop is because the dealers are asking way too much. They’re clueless.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    With a dried up supply line from the factories being closed, this actually makes sense. Closing dealerships *forces* them to sell their cars to the remaining dealerships (at a substantial loss, unfortunately). Theoretically, the surviving dealerships will need new vehicles from somewhere since Chrysler isn’t building them anymore (for the time being, I suppose).

    If Chrysler didn’t close dealerships, you’d (eventually) have all these empty lots with very few new vehicles on them to sell.

    This is undoubtedly what GM is planning to do soon, as well.

  • avatar
    rottenbob

    The dealer itself would have made THOUSANDS on me. Wouldn’t budge one inch.

    I had the SAME experience at one of the Jeep dealerships I visited. The salesman said “We don’t negotiate on price.” Wouldn’t budge. This was on the Saturday after Chryco declared bankruptcy!! Unbelievable!

  • avatar
    rottenbob

    I looked at the dealerships in Washington on the list. Both the Dodge and Chrysler dealers in Tacoma get the ax… Both the Jeep and Chrysler stores in Longview get it. Both the Jeep and Chrysler stores in Yakima get it. I do not get it. Does this corporation have an animus against certain cities?

    Yeah, and I noticed that both Kirkland and Bellevue CDJ dealerships remain, even though they’re only about 6 miles apart!

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Domestic Hearse:
    2. Lots of remote points in the sticks were closed. Flyover, drive-by country. Areas where rural men work the land, drive trucks, battle the elements. And where do you think these buyers are going for their next new trucks, now that the nearest Dodge or Jeep point is hundreds of miles away?

    They’ll either drive (like many import owners), pick a closer domestic brand dealer, or buy a used Chrysler product from a local indie lot / internet seller.

    The new auto market is best served by fewer, larger dealers. The corporate mother ship can better control the brand damage that crap dealers are capable of.

    Although, in my urban neck of the woods, the domestics’ cannibalistic tendencies are reinforced by too many suburban stores.

  • avatar
    Old Guy Ben

    Does this corporation have an animus against certain cities?

    Closing existing dealers does not preclude opening a new dealer in the area in the future.

    As Forbes (or someone, forgot who) pointed out, Toyota does quite well with only 1200 dealers nationwide. Perhaps they are trying to imitate that model. Apparently, most states have franchising laws protecting the dealers from getting shut off by corporate, so this is a rare chance to get rid of the weaker links.

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  • PrincipalDan: Bought first house and first wife pressured me into getting a truck. It was a fine vehicle and I kept...
  • PrincipalDan: I know y’all gonna rip on Mazda for no manual but those power levels with standard AWD and...
  • DedBull: Here in western PA, the old calibers still certainly get their share of work in the deer stands. I carry a...
  • Flipper35: I guarantee I have more than 500 miles off road in our RWD Durango. Most of that off road is not even...

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