Chrysler cuts ties to 14 Ala. dealerships

Posted by: Bryan Henry - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - In Greenville the power of the written word is putting the brakes on part of a family business.

"We were very upset this morning," said Greenville Motor Company owner Charles Haigler.

Haigler got the company letter today, hand-delivered by UPS. In a nutshell, Chrysler says there's been an 'unprecedented decline in the industry' and that 'extraordinary times call for extraordinary efforts.' The Chrysler name comes down off Haigler's building on June 9th.

"Chrysler is doing nothing to help the dealership," Haigler said.

From the car lot to city hall, we found an angry Mayor Dexter McClendon.

"We're getting kicked around. They're taking taxpayers money and they're going to give it to Chrysler and GM so here they are shutting down dealerships that sell their cars. This doesn't make sense," said Mayor McClendon.

Tom Dart heads up the Automobile Association of Alabama. Dart believes the government-led restructuring is too much of a shotgun approach to the problem.

"Dealers don't cost the manufacturers anything. Dealers pay 90% of the revenues," said Dart.

"My solution would be to talk to the little people that's selling the cars. Find out from them what they need to do better,"  McClendon offered.

Even though Haigler never saw this coming, he did in fact make what appears to have been a smart move.

"With Chrysler's problems, we got our inventory down to about 10 Chrysler Dodge-Jeeps units," said Haigler.

10 vehicles left along with 38 Chevys, meaning Haigler still has the GM dealership.

"We still have our loyal customers," said Haigler.

Charles Haigler feels okay right now but then again there is another list coming out on Friday. This one by GM.

And if Haigler finds his name on the GM list?

"We'll just sell used cars and go with another franchise," Haigler said.

With plan 'B' in place, Haigler has no plans to lay off any of his 14 employees.

For now Charles Haigler continues the family business and rely on the sale of Chevys.. at least for another day.

Going beyond Greenville, nearly 20 dealerships have closed in Alabama in the last 6 months because of the economy.

Other local dealerships affected:

Bondy's Ford Inc.
DBA Bondy's Jeep
3615 Ross Clark Cirlce
Dothan, AL 36303

Classic Automotive, Inc
DBA Classic Automotive, Inc
1645 2nd Avenue northwest
Cullman, AL 35055

Don Drennen Chrysler Jeep, Inc.
1626 Montgomery Hwy.
Hoover, AL 35216-4902

Glynn Smith Chevrolet, Inc.
DBA Glynn Smith Jeep
600 Columbus Pkwy
Opelika, AL 36801-5934

Haigler Enterprises LLC
DBA Greenville Motor Company
169 Interstate Drive
Greenville, AL 36037

Pierson Chevrolet Inc.
DBA Pierson Jeep
East Meighan Blvd.
Gadsden, AL 35903-1050

Sparkman, Shepard & Morris P.C.
Cloverleaf Decatur, LLC
DBA Cloverleaf Chrysler Dodge Jeep
303 Williams Ave. SW #1411
Huntsville, AL 35801

Susan Schein Chevrolet
Susan Schein Chrysler Dodge, Inc.
DBA Susan Schein Chrysler Dodge, Inc.
3171 Pelham Parkway
Pelham, AL 35124

Terry Sligh Automotive Inc.
1630 Second avenue
Oneonta, AL 35121

Victory Motor Company Inc.
DBA Victory Motor Company
625 East Main St.
Prattville, AL 36067

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.