It's a sad week for hundreds of Chrysler dealers across the country. As the Detroit automaker's bankruptcy process unfolds, dealerships will be either closing shop in the next few days or awaiting the results of a bankruptcy hearing which may give them a chance at survival.
Still, Chrysler has already withdrawn its support for the dealers, which has meant no new inventory, no warranty protection, and no corporate sales offers for buyers. As USA Today reports, hundreds of dealerships are winding down their operations this week. The Detroit automaker has already announced that it is closing 789 dealerships, reducing its network to 2,400.
(Read our full list of the Chrysler dealerships that are closing.)
Chrysler's cuts have meant the loss of thousands of jobs and, for some, the end of a long-standing community presence. USA Today talked to one particularly prominent dealer in California:
"'I have a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealership with no cars. I can't go forward with this business plan,' says Howard Sellz, who has been in the car business 44 years and runs Big Valley Dodge -- now just three acres of empty lots in the Los Angeles suburb of Van Nuys. His office is filled with decades of photos showing him with famous customers and friends such as Jay Leno, Chuck Connors, Sandy Koufax and Frank Sinatra."
Yesterday, the Supreme Court put Chrysler's pending sale to Fiat on hold temporarily, in response to a lawsuit from a group of Indiana pension funds and consumer advocacy groups. Fiat has said that it will not walk away from a deal with Chrysler.