It is another blow for the auto industry as Chrysler is closing…
Updated: Friday, 15 May 2009, 11:42 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 14 May 2009, 6:22 PM EDT
HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) - It is another blow for the auto industry as Chrysler is closing hundreds of dealerships.
At Marra Brothers Chrysler in Olean, owner Jim Marra told News 4 he's still in shock after learning his dealership is not in the company's future plans. The business has been in the family since the 1920s.
Marra said, "Being in a small town, you know so many of the people and it's very depressing and it's very sad for me and our employees."
In the Southern Tier, Signature Jeep-Eagle in Jamestown also got the thumbs-down letter.
The full list of dealer locations to be closed can be found here >> PDF List of Dealers
Friday at Noon GM will be having a conference call to give more details on US dealer consolidation plans >> listen now (starts at Noon)
Chrylser is eliminating about a quarter of it's 3,200 United States dealerships telling the bankruptcy court it has too many showrooms competing with each other.
Dealers who sell only one brand of car may be more vulnerable.
Auto industry analyst Art Wheaton said, "So they want to weed out the weakest dealers, then they can make the stronger dealerships larger."
Business was moving along at Towne Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Hamburg. General Manager Jim Stewart received his thumbs up letter from Chrysler at 9:30 in the morning, and while he was confident the dealership would survive, the letter still came as a relief.
Stewart said, "It's still that area of uncertainty. That was good to get past that uncertain feeling."
Mary and James Hulton were picking up their new Chrysler Town and Country van, and were also relieved to learn that Towne will still be around, part of the "new" Chrysler company going forward.
Mary Hulton said, "It means a lot. You're going to be able to come back here for whatever has to be done for the car. Your warranty's going to be good, and everything."
James Hulton said, "We're a Dodge family, I guess."
Nobody knows what Chrysler will become down the road when it merges with Fiat. Surviving dealers are counting on loyal customers who still believe in the product.
Four dealerships in the Rochester area are also being eliminated by Chrysler. Dealers in the Buffalo Niagara region are safe.