New Hope for Two Valley Chrysler Dealerships

June 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Hanford Chrysler dealer has just hours to sell their last cars. But a ruling by the Supreme Court has given employees new hope that their business might survive.The U.S. Supreme Court got involved in the auto industry Monday in a move that could affect the future of two local car dealers.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg temporarily blocked the sale of Chrysler to Fiat. If the deal doesn't go through by next week, it could fall apart.

The dealership in Hanford is ecstatic by Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg's decision to delay Chrysler's sale to fiat. While they're hoping there's still a chance they can stay open, they're doing what the automaker has asked them to do and get rid of as many cars possible.

More than 100 cars used to sit on the Hanford lot; now there are less than thirty.

John Buck and his wife test drove a new 2008 Dodge Challenger. They couldn't help noticing the deep discounts being offered at the Liberty Chrysler dealership in Hanford. "Because of the deal with them wanting to close the Chrysler what kind of deals they were giving especially on the Challengers."

Car salesmen at Liberty said they've received ridiculously low offers from people, such as nine or ten-thousand dollars for a forty-thousand dollar truck. But discounts of 30 to 35 percent are more than enough to move cars off the lot. "We've been selling cars at significantly discounted prices for the past two weeks and we'll continue doing that until we are told we can no longer sell cars," said Hanford's Liberty Dealership owner Dwight Nelson.

Currently, the deadline is Tuesday at 9 p.m. Nelson is still fighting to keep the dealership open, he even testified in New York along with 15 other dealership owners in Federal Bankruptcy Court last week. "That we're the only Chrysler dealership in Kings County and there are literally thousands of customers driving Chrysler products in Kings County."

As for the 40 employees here, they may be placed at one of the many dealerships Nelson owns at the Selma Auto-Mall. Nelson said he'll try and bring one of those dealerships down to the Hanford facility or keep it open as a used car dealership.

For now, the focus is getting this inventory out of here before the lights shut down here indefinitely at 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

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