Three tri-county dealers to lose Chrysler franchises
Three tri-county dealers won’t be selling Chryslers after June 9 as part of the ailing automaker’s plan to shed a quarter of its dealerships.
Kirby Oldsmobile-Jeep-Eagle-Suzuki in Ventura, Ted Miles Jeep in Atascadero and Perry Ford Lincoln-Mercury Jeep in San Luis Obispo will lose franchise agreements, the automaker announced May 14. Chrysler, which has already eliminated 400 dealers in the past year, filed a motion in bankruptcy court to cut another 800.
Willie Carnes from Perry Ford in San Luis Obispo said managers received the news early Thursday and planned to meet later in the day to decide the dealer’s next move. Carnes couldn’t elaborate but said the dealer only stocks a handful of Jeeps and that Chrysler’s decision won’t affect its Ford and Lincoln-Mercury operations.
Owner Ted Miles of Ted Miles Jeep in Atascadero has had a Jeep franchise for more than 20 years. He bought a Jeep-Eagle franchise from Chrysler and reduced it to a Jeep franchise in 1998 when Chrysler discontinued the Eagle line of cars.
Eric Dewees, service manager at the dealer, couldn’t comment on whether the facility would keep its service and used-car sales operations open or if it would take on a franchise agreement with a different automaker.
“That’s what we’re poring over,” he said. “We would like to keep moving forward. We have a loyal customer base that we’re trying to serve. We owe it to them to service the vehicles they’ve purchased off our lot.”
Like all of Chrysler’s dealers, Ted Miles Jeep is authorized to perform warranty repairs on all Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. Dewees said the dealership has 10 employees and also services vehicles from other automakers.
Kirby Oldsmobile-Jeep-Eagle-Suzuki in Ventura couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Several tri-county Chrysler dealers will get to keep their franchises if Chrysler emerges from Chapter 11. They are: Shaver Jeep in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Crown Chrysler Dodge in Ventura, Santa Barbara Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Santa Maria’s Iversen Motors, Reneau Chrysler Dodge in Paso Robles and Cole Chrysler-Dodge in San Luis Obispo.