Chrysler cuts 27 dealerships in Missouri

Thursday, May 14, 2009 | 12:03 p.m. CDT; updated 4:59 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 14, 2009

COLUMBIA — Chrysler sent out letters to about one-fourth of its dealers informing them that they will be eliminated from the franchise. Twenty-seven dealerships in Missouri were on the list of eliminations filed in bankruptcy court on Thursday, including Columbia's Dodge City Motors, to go into effect June 9.

Columbia's Dodge City Motors will remain open, but did not wish to make comments at this time. Owner, Larry Estes, was unavailable for comment as well.



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Chrysler closures in Missouri

  • Cannon Chrysler Dodge Jeep Inc. of Excelsior Springs
  • Cape County Auto Park Inc. of Cape Girardeau
  • Century Motor Corporation of Wentzville
  • Chris Auffenberg Ford Inc. of Washington
  • Crawford's Raytown, Jeep-Eagle Co. of Kaytown
  • Davis Chrysler Inc. of Ava
  • Dodge City Motors Inc. of Columbia
  • Heritage Chrysler Jeep Inc. of Raytown
  • Jim Rush GMC Truck Co. of Bolivar
  • Lucas-Smith Automotive Inc. of Potosi
  • Mid-Missouri Motors Inc. of St. Robert
  • Miller-Campbell Company of Kansas City
  • Milner-O'Quinn Chrysler Dodge of Harrisonville
  • Mitch Crawford's Holiday Motors Co. of Raytown
  • Neosho Chrysler-Plymoth-Dodge-Jeep Inc. of Neosho
  • Ozark Dodge Inc. of Ozark
  • Raytown Dodge Company of Raytown
  • Reuther Dodge LLC of Creve Coeur
  • Reuther's Investments Co. of Creve Coeur
  • Ron Hulett Automotive Inc. of Camdenton
  • Sam Ogle Chrysler Jeep Inc. of Crystal City
  • Smith Motor Company-Marceline Inc. of Brookfield
  • Swafford's For Sales Inc. of Richmond
  • T&C Motors of Sedalia Inc. of Sedalia
  • Tony Martens Dodge Inc. of Platte City
  • Weinberg Dodge Inc. of Grandview
  • Zeiser Chrysler Dodge Jeep Inc. of Truesdale



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patrick perry May 15, 2009 | 10:31 a.m.

I understand the need to "thin out" the market, however, the decisions made are wrong. They've cut some very good and reputable dealerships here in Missouri. What they should have done, is look at the over company standings with the public, booted out the bad dealerships, they offered those franchise zones to the list they have currently compiled. I have worked for several dealerships in Missouri, both metro and rural. In the rural are which I now reside, there are two Chrysler dealerships (owned by the same family) who are notorious for cheating consumers. People close to them, and even in the same townships, will drive a good distance, not only to purchase a new vehicle, but to get the purchased vehicle serviced by a certified dealership. It's sad to see Aufenberg go. That dealership is A-1 !
Thus, Chrysler should make another "slashing" of the "questionable" dealerships, then offer the franchise zone to the reputable dealerships who were cut simply because Chrysler felt there are too many dealerships in a particular metro or suburban area. How 'bout this . . . there are two dealerships within 2 miles of one another, on the same street in suburban St. Louis, of which "that" company owns three Chrysler dealerships. By personal experience, by and thru my brother who worked at Chrysler/Fenton for 27 years before he passed on, and purchased new vehicles at least every other year, indicated that these two dealerships are the worst he'd ever dealt with. As a matter of fact, there doesn't need to be a "consumer poll" of any type, Chrysler would simply have to contact the BBB, MADA (Mo. Auto Dealers Asso.) and the Mo. Attorney Generals Office, as well as looking into thier own internal complaint database (I'd hope they have one).

In any event, these cuts are needed, but they're not using thier noggins' to make the proper cuts.

And while we're at it, lets take a look at the labor pay. Too much. If everyone is trying to "do thier part," then start where the problems starts. Sure, it's hard to take a pay cut, however, don't you believe it's harder to endure people cuts? Dealerships Sales teams have made nothing since 2003. Nothing ! Cars are priced too high for the consumer by MSRP, sooooo, the three majors introduced some type of "employee pricing" (for lack of a better noise). Immediately, the dealerships and everyone else "AFTER" production suffered, and all the while, production costs went up because of yearly contract wage increases by the union employees.

Everyone that "touches" the production or sale of a Chrysler needs to tighten thier belts, not just the 27 dealerships and thier employees.

Simply put, there's still some mending to do. 1) don't cut the good guys,
2) make overall adjustments, straight across the board by percentage, to ALL production, sales, as well as outside suppliers (or get new ones that will), and 3) be fair to the consumer, after all, we're the ones footing the bill for this "make-over."

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