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Britt Chrysler Jeep on list of Virginia dealers to lose Chrysler contract
Britt Chrysler Jeep was told by letter of the change.
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 5/15/2009
Rejected dealers will receive assistance in redistributing their vehicles and parts inventories, according to Chrysler's letter to approved dealers. Chrysler will also help customers make a "seamless transition" to a new servicing dealer.
Customers who purchased vehicles from the affected dealers will be notified about the closings and their warranties will still be honored, said Chrysler Vice President Steven Landry.
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Randy Modesitt, who owns Rappahannock Motors Inc. in King George County, got the news he wanted about his dealership of 22 years. He sells all three Chrysler brands, along with Ford and Mercury.
"This is our livelihood," Modesitt said, adding that he thinks it's unfair that some dealers were cut despite costing Chrysler little.
Modesitt said he thinks it helped him that he sells all three of Chrysler's brands. The company is trying to reduce the number of single-brand dealerships.
Safford of Fredericksburg, which sells Dodge vehicles but not Jeep or Chrysler, made the cut despite that. However the Safford Automotive Group sells all the brands at its locations in Springfield and Warrenton.
Safford Dodge General Manager Coley Dize said, "We're looking forward to being a Dodge dealership in Fredericksburg for some time."
Chrysler of Culpeper also got good news yesterday. That eliminated "all kinds of angst" at the dealership, said general sales manager Steve Rainger.
Chrysler dealerships aren't the only ones scheduled to get bad news this week. General Motors Corp. says it is notifying 1,100 dealers that it will not renew their franchise agreements when they expire at the end of September 2010.
John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, said about 187,000 jobs could be lost from the closing of GM and Chrysler dealerships.
A copy of the letter Chrysler LLC sent to dealers that survived the cut can be found at fredericksburg.com/blogs /bizbrowser.
--The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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