HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) - It is another blow for the auto industry as Chrysler is closinghundreds of dealerships.
At Marra Brothers Chrysler in Olean, owner Jim Marra told News 4he's still in shock after learning his dealership is not in thecompany's future plans. The business has been in the family sincethe 1920s.
Marra said, "Being in a small town, you know so many of thepeople and it's very depressing and it's very sad for me and ouremployees."
In the Southern Tier, Signature Jeep-Eagle in Jamestown also gotthe thumbs-down letter.
The full list of dealer locations to be closed can be found here>> PDFList of Dealers
Friday at Noon GM will be having a conference call to give moredetails on US dealer consolidation plans >> listen now (starts at Noon)
Chrylser is eliminating about a quarter of it's 3,200 UnitedStates dealerships telling the bankruptcy court it has too manyshowrooms competing with each other.
Dealers who sell only one brand of car may be morevulnerable.
Auto industry analyst Art Wheaton said, "So they want to weedout the weakest dealers, then they can make the strongerdealerships larger."
Business was moving along at Towne Chrysler Dodge Jeep inHamburg. General Manager Jim Stewart received his thumbs up letterfrom Chrysler at 9:30 in the morning, and while he was confidentthe dealership would survive, the letter still came as arelief.
Stewart said, "It's still that area of uncertainty. That wasgood to get past that uncertain feeling."
Mary and James Hulton were picking up their new Chrysler Townand Country van, and were also relieved to learn that Towne willstill be around, part of the "new" Chrysler company goingforward.
Mary Hulton said, "It means a lot. You're going to be able tocome back here for whatever has to be done for the car. Yourwarranty'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 itmerges with Fiat. Surviving dealers are counting on loyal customerswho still believe in the product.
Four dealerships in the Rochester area are also being eliminatedby Chrysler. Dealers in the Buffalo Niagara region are safe.
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