Mt. Washington car dealership gets dropped by 2 auto companies in 2 days

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WHAS11.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 13 at 3:15 PM

(WHAS11) - The end of the week brought a one-two punch for some car dealerships.

Several weredropped by Chrysler Thursday and then more by General Motors Friday.

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Some dealerships only sold those two brands.

So this is a big hit for them but also their communities.

"Our numbers were going up every month. Other dealers were falling. Now us getting cut, it's kind of a kick in the teeth," said Larry Baker, General Sales Manager of Alex Montgomery.

In the small town of Mt. Washington, everyone knows Alex Montgomery, a Chrysler and GM dealership.

"It's a staple in the community, there's no doubt about that," said John Elder.

"We've been here since 1984. But the Montgomery's have been around since the 30's," said Larry Baker.

The dealership has about 30 employees and Baker says, thousands and thousands of customers.

But he says that wasn't something Chrysler or General Motors considered when both dealt this dealership a major blow.

"For somebody that's been in business for 40 years to just get a letter to say you're losing a franchise... it's not right thing to do," said Baker.

And people don't just know the dealership from seeing the big signs on the road.

"It's obviously a big hit in the community. They sponsor the Little League teams, they sponsor the festival. They're the largest business in the community I'd say," said Elder.

"I don't personally know him, but I understand he's a young man who isn't stingy with his resources," said another man.

Even Mayor Joetta Calhoun says: "When called upon they've been there for the community. They're a great corporate sponsor."

"It could affect what we're able to do for schools and for the local community," said Baker.

"I hate to see them go cause they've been in business a long time," said another man.

But Baker says, don't jump to that conclusion. At this point, they have no intention of going anywhere, and this lot won't be empty.

"We may end up being a Car Max type dealer. We'll carry pre-owned vehicles, that's fine with us. We don't have a problem with that."

But the hit from Chrysler and GM still stings.

"Chrysler and GM got themselves in this situation. We didn't get them in it and we're taking the punishment for it. And that's the bottom line."

Baker also says the Chrysler deal isn't done.

A bankruptcy judge will have the final say. But he says his service department will still be there for his customers.

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