Pistoresi Chrysler-Plymouth to Close

March 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
An auto dealership that's been synonymous with Madera County for decades is changing hands. The end of the month will mark the end of an era.Pistoresi Chrysler-Plymouth has served Madera County and sponsored local activities for 72 years. But the last few years have been so tough owner Chris Pistoresi has decided to sell the dealership. Pistoresi explained, "Costs are high. Vehicles are expensive. Credit is tight. It's been very difficult."

Rummaging through files and old pictures brought back pleasant memories for Pistoresi. In the thirties, Chris' late father Emilio was working at the Plymouth-Desoto dealership when he decided to chase the American dream.

Pistoresi said, "He bought the franchise for about 500-dollars and bought some supplies. He borrowed the money from his father-in-law to go into business and opened up in 1938 with $15-dollars and change in his checking account."

Chris and his brother Michael later came aboard to continue the family business. But the auto industry has hit rough economic times. Pistoresi remains unconvinced sales will soon pick up. "Not in this area no. Probably in some areas that's entirely possible but in this area we're probably a year and a half to two years away from coming out of the recession."

Pistoresi was surprised to learn a Kerman man named Jay Gill was looking to buy a Chrysler dealership. Gill also owns dealerships in Tranquility, Livermore and Gilroy.

Some of the 23 employees in Madera will be able to keep their jobs.


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