Hanford Chrysler dealership reopens; will hire 40 - 50 people

FRESNO, Calif.

Hanford Chrysler reopened Monday, with a fresh new look, and a whole new outlook.

Liberty Hanford Chrysler closed its doors after 20 years of selling cars in the south valley. It was not only a loss to Chrysler car owners who then had to travel out of town for repairs. But the Hanford Chamber of Commerce Ambassador says the closure affected the entire community.

Geary Galusha said, "It's one thing to listen to the news and hear businesses closing and stuff but when you gotta drive by a local icon dealership and you see it closing and you know people lost their jobs, our neighbors and stuff, that's terrible."

Liberty was one of 789 dealerships closed by Chrysler nationwide. But owner Dwight Nelson wasn't going to accept the decision sitting down. "Traveled to New York to meet with the bankruptcy judge. Made every effort possible to explain why this particular dealership should remain open."

After months of wrangling, Nelson's dealership was one of only 49 nationwide that was reinstated.

One of the conditions of reinstatement of the dealership was remodeling the entire building, and one major part of the remodeling was something that Chrysler requires of all its dealerships now -- a Millennium arch.

Monday morning, cars waited in the driveway for service. Monday afternoon the new dealership sold one of only twelve cars on the lot. They haven't been able to accept car deliveries because they need more employees. Tuesday the dealership will hold job interviews for 40 plus positions. In the next ten days, dozens of Chryslers, Dodge cars, Jeeps and Ram trucks will fill the lot.

Dwight Nelson says he learned a very important lesson during the whole ordeal, perseverance pays off.

The dealership is holding a job fair Tuesday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. They're on 11th Avenue and Lacey Boulevard in Hanford.

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