ENTERPRISE, AL (WSFA) - It's been a stressful month for Tim Whitehead--the owner of Tim Whitehead Chrysler in Enterprise.
"I was scared to death. I have had one job since high school. This is it," says Tim.
The news of Chrysler's bankruptcy in April had the dealership on pins and needles. It left Tim, who has deep roots in the car business since 1958, waiting to see if he would get the green light to stay open. And he did.
Chrysler emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after forming an alliance with Italian auto maker Fiat.
Fiat closed a deal to take over Chrysler's good assets. The company brings fuel efficient technology to the Chrysler brand.
And now, Tim is relieved to be at the other end of the tunnel.
"We're glad it's [the bankruptcy] over. It's like a bad operation, like a bad sickness. You don't ask for it. You don't look for it. But once you get into it, you just look towards the end of it."
Dealers say on a typical day you could see about 100 cars in the lot at Tim Whitehead Chrysler. But since the plant has been closed, that number has dwindled to just over 30. It's a number dealers say they hope goes up within the next month.
"Once these factories start back up, it won't take them long to fill us back up," says Whitehead.
It's growth Whitehead says should spark more interest now that Fiat is on board.
"We're going to see some people that we've never seen before that have come to see us because of our Fiat affiliation."
But regardless, Kathy Williams is sold on Chrysler.
"This car I'll drive 'till it falls apart."
And if it does she says, "I'll buy another one."
It's a mentality Tim is glad to see as his business is re-born.