Hammer Time: Witch Croft?

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

Cory02 writes:

Something interesting happened with my nearest former Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealer (Dave Croft Motors in Collinsville, Illinois): they appear to be selling new Chrysler products again. In the days approaching the “drop-dead” date for the culled dealers, I thought it was odd that they not only kept the large “Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep” signs on their building but also kept them lit at night (I would have personally taken them down out of spite). The owner went through the motions of crying to the media, proclaiming that he would stay in business as a used dealer, and then moved all the new cars to the very back of the lot and put them in neat rows to await pickup and delivery to another dealer after June ninth.

Yesterday, I noticed they were advertising in the newspaper again (as a used car dealer, of course). A closer look at their ad revealed that most of their advertised cars were Chrysler products with less than 100 miles. I happened to be in the neighborhood last night and noticed that they had put all of their new cars back on their lot and, by all appearances, were back to being a Chrysler dealer. I wonder if anyone else has seen something similar with other dealers? And what would happen to some poor unsuspecting soul that buys a new Chrysler from a former dealer gone rogue such as this? If they need warranty service are they as screwed as the lemon-law claimants?

Steve replies:

This isn’t surprising. The other neighboring dealers may have rejected the inventory and Chrysler had a choice between sending them to the auctions or letting the dealer sell them out.

The dealer may have also asked to be given a time period to show a healthy operation by whatever yardstick Chrysler is using at the moment. As they’re not new, these vehicles will NOT be covered by Chrysler’s ‘Lifetime Warranty’. The word on the street last week is that Chrysler has seriously overestimated their dealer’s desire to take on any more inventory from the disappeared.

Steven Lang
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  • Simonisback01 Simonisback01 on Jun 22, 2009

    Well, selling Chryslers at the prices they listed was basically a form of conning, so I wouldn't be surprised if they did after shutting down. GS650G: I visited Weathers Dodge twice in my lifetime, once a few years back and once during the wind-down. Both times everything they offered was overpriced, and overall the place was fairly trashy and dingy. It was also the only dealership I have been to where people stand outside and smoke cigs all day.

  • HD HD on Jun 22, 2009

    One of the Chrysler dealers in my area that got axed had his inventory on the lot for a couple of weeks before shutting down completely. I think the cars still might be there. Meanwhile the Hyundai wholesaler down the street is runing a scheme where he's giving away a truck load of Accents; I think 10 in all. Who is going to buy all these cars that are piling up?

  • Lorenzo The unspoken killer is that batteries can't be repaired after a fender-bender and the cars are totaled by insurance companies. Very quickly, insurance premiums will be bigger than the the monthly payment, killing all sales. People will be snapping up all the clunkers Tim Healey can find.
  • Lorenzo Massachusetts - with the start/finish line at the tip of Cape Cod.
  • RHD Welcome to TTAH/K, also known as TTAUC (The truth about used cars). There is a hell of a lot of interesting auto news that does not make it to this website.
  • Jkross22 EV makers are hosed. How much bigger is the EV market right now than it already is? Tesla is holding all the cards... existing customer base, no dealers to contend with, largest EV fleet and the only one with a reliable (although more crowded) charging network when you're on the road. They're also the most agile with pricing. I have no idea what BMW, Audi, H/K and Merc are thinking and their sales reflect that. Tesla isn't for me, but I see the appeal. They are the EV for people who really just want a Tesla, which is most EV customers. Rivian and Polestar and Lucid are all in trouble. They'll likely have to be acquired to survive. They probably know it too.
  • Lorenzo The Renaissance Center was spearheaded by Henry Ford II to revitalize the Detroit waterfront. The round towers were a huge mistake, with inefficient floorplans. The space is largely unusable, and rental agents were having trouble renting it out.GM didn't know that, or do research, when they bought it. They just wanted to steal thunder from Ford by making it their new headquarters. Since they now own it, GM will need to tear down the "silver silos" as un-rentable, and take a financial bath.Somewhere, the ghost of Alfred P. Sloan is weeping.