On Thursday, 789 Chrysler dealers around the country were told their franchise agreements are being cancelled. Chrysler is seeking approval in bankruptcy court to terminate the deals. Four local Chrysler dealers are on the list. they are Marketplace, Patrick, Webster Chrysler Jeep and Barry Dodge in Brockport. It's estimated around 200 employees work at this four dealerships. But this does not mean the dealerships are closing.
The news isn't good. Four area dealerships are on Chrysler's chopping block. "To have a government agency decide what local businessman gets to stay in business or not. We just don't agree with that," said Brad McAreavy, Rochester Automobile Dealers’ Association.
McAreavy says this move has no financial benefit to Chrysler. "This is all about a company that's in bankruptcy. Trying to bring them out of bankruptcy. How does reducing your dealer network by 800 dealers help you do that," asked McAreavy.
Barry Dodge in Brockport is on the list. "You're hurt someone would kick you out. I got kicked out of the club and I was a good member of the club and they kicked me out," said Andy Riexinger, Barry Dodge Owner.
Owner Andy Riexinger says the reason they made the list is because there's a Chrysler dealership ten miles down the road. "They sell more cars and have the showroom that's enormous They're much bigger than I am but bigger doesn't mean better," said Riexinger.
Barry Dodge has a small staff of 11 people. Many of them have worked here for years.
"We rely on this company and this business and the community to feed our families and if we don't exist anymore our jobs are gone and that's very scary," said Dave Vance, Parts and Service Manager.
It's a tough blow for Barry Dodge because they sell all three franchises, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge. If Chrysler doesn't change its mind it could mean layoffs. "I love everybody who works here and to let any of them go would be extremely difficult. I hope to not have to do that," said Riexinger.
Dealers Are Determined To Stay In Business
Barry Dodge is a staple in Brockport. It's been in town for 45 years. "It's never the end for me. I'm am optimistic person. It's going to work out for me somehow or another but this is a big blow," said Andy Riexinger.
Andy Riexinger started working at the dealership when he was sixteen. He washed the cars and swept the lot. "I'm a winner. I'm going to win somehow or another. We're going to fight to keep the franchise. If we lose it we're going to get another franchise. if we don't we're going to be a used car dealer and be the biggest best used car dealer there is," said Riexinger.
Riexinger plans to talk to members of Congress. "Our goal is to plead with whoever we can to show them the reasons why it doesn't make sense to get rid of us."
The president of the Rochester Automobile Dealers’ Association says it's not over until its over. "They still got a ways to go before any real final decisions are being made," said McAreavy.
First Chrysler will look at the list one more time before its finalized. Fiat, the car manufacturer that'll likely merge with Chrysler, will also look at the list before they compile an official list. "They as dealers will have an opportunity to talk to their district managers and so forth and ask them why they're on the list and what if something can be corrected. What exactly is it that landed them on the list," said McAreavy.
The folks at Barry Dodge aren't giving up. "There will be a car dealership in this spot as along as I'm alive," said Riexinger.
For the complete 40 page list, click here (PDF).