South Florida to lose car dealerships

By Palm Beach

FORT LAUDERDALE — Five South Florida Chrysler dealerships are on the chopping block as part of the bankrupt automaker’s reorganization plan to eliminate 789 of its retailers nationwide.

Three of the dealerships are in Broward County; two in Miami-Dade, according to bankruptcy records. No Palm Beach dealerships were targeted. Altogether, 27 Florida dealerships will close if the bankruptcy court approves Chrysler’s plan. The dealers can fight the plan in court.

Meanwhile, General Motors announced that it intends to close more than 1,100 of its dealerships nationally through 2010 but a list of the affected sites was not available.

The Broward dealers to be axed: Massey-Yardley Chrysler Dodge of Plantation; Monarch Dodge of Lauderdale Lakes; Maroone Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Coral Springs.

The Miami-Dade dealers on the list: Maroone Dodge of Miami, and Tamiami Dodge, also of Miami.

The two Maroone dealerships are owned by Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, which owns five other Chrysler dealership that are on the hit list. AutoNation in a statement said it not only agreed with the Chrysler plan but that it fits with the company’s own business plan.

The AutoNation stores that will be closed by the consolidation plan represented only 1 percent of AutoNation's 2008 operating income, and the company said it does not believe that any charges that might stem from the closings will materially affect continuing operations.

"We believe Chrysler's consolidation plan is a difficult but positive step forward for Chrysler and the automotive retail industry,” CEO Mike Jackson said. “Dealer consolidation is a necessary measure in today's automotive industry and will strengthen America's dealer network and improve dealer profitability over the long term."

Jackson the closings are “consistent with AutoNation's long-term strategy that we implemented in 2000 to consolidate domestic dealerships and realign our brand mix more towards import and premium luxury franchises.”

According to its website, AutoNation has 18 dealerships nationwide that sell one or more of the Chrysler brands.

Maroone will lose six dealerships under the GM plan, which it supports. It did not release the locations.

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MAY 15, 2009 click to go home
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