GM, Chrysler dealerships await closure notices

By Dick Berry - email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

NORTH TOLEDO (WTOL) - Chrysler and General Motors dealerships across the country are preparing for the worst.

On Thursday, May 14, they'll be notified if they'll stay open as part of restructuring plans.

There are no specific numbers, but there's speculation GM will trim it's number of dealerships from 6200 to 3600. Chrysler is expected to decrease from 3200 to 2400.

Folks here at Groganstowne in north Toledo are trying to remain upbeat about their future.

"Chrysler has kept this the biggest secret of anything I've ever been through in the 20 years I've been an owner here," said Managing Partner Denny Amrhein, "We haven't been able to find out anything."

Mark Nowacki is the parts manager. He's worked at Groganstown for 31 years. A total of 100 jobs would be eliminated if Chrysler folds the dealership. "This dealership," he says, "I don't think there's too many people down. There's a certain amount of uncertainty. We're pretty confident we're going to be in good shape."

Trimming the dealership network has been a key part of the restructuring plans submitted by Chrysler and GM to the federal government. Each car maker is seeking billions of dollars in additional federal aid.

"Do we think we're going to be here? According to the people we talk to at Chrysler, we're going to be here. But you don't know until tomorrow when the letter comes out," said Amrhein.

Groganstowne has been in Toledo for 50 years and hopes to be around another 50. The dealership has just landed a Jeep franchise and is expanding.

With fewer dealership around, Amrhein hopes to get a bigger piece of the sales pie. "As long as you're taking care of your customers, doing what you're supposed to have done, you're going to survive. You'll make more money than you did before."

Though, starting Thursday, some won't be given that chance because of a letter they're about to receive.

Copyright 2009 WTOL, a Raycom Media station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.