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Closings To Be Felt in Houston & Texas

Citing low sales, an outdated network and competing stores, Chrysler plans to shut down one fourth of its dealers in June. More are to close in Texas than in any other state. Six are in the Houston area. Pat Hernandez has more.


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Chrysler notified the 789 dealers it wants to eliminate by UPS, at about the same time it was it was pleading its case before a bankruptcy judge in New York.

Walter Wainwright:  “I’ve been in this business 35-years, never seen anything like that.”

Walter Wainwright is president of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association. He says the effect of the closures in the area will be felt.

“This closure on the part of these Chrysler stores is gonna cost thousands of jobs, good paying jobs. A lot of these dealers are very involved in the community, sponsor Little League teams, sponsor other events, and you know, got a dealership sitting on a very valuable piece of land, expensive dealership. And unless something changes, they’re gonna take a really, really rough blow.”

He says the woes of the auto industry could take another hit by General Motors. Some dealers might get a letter saying if they agree to shut down operations next year, GM will buy their cars and parts back.

“If they don’t choose to do that, then if General Motors were to file bankruptcy. Then they would be in the same position that the Chrysler dealers are in, where it doesn’t look like cars or parts will be bought back.”

Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez must approve Chrysler’s request before they go into effect.

Among the dealers scheduled to close: Archer Chrysler-Jeep and Archer Chrysler-Plymouth Houston, Archer Dodge Stafford and Baytown Chrysler Jeep Dodge.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF…Houston Public Radio News.

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