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Augusta Dodge owner says dealership will remain open after Chrysler deadline

Greg Helfrich,owner of Augusta Dodge, says he will continue selling cars, but not as a Chrysler dealer.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 11:41 AM
Last updated 2:14 PM
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Augusta Dodge's owner has plans to stay open even if Chrysler is successful in revoking the dealership's agreement to sell new cars.

The Gordon Highway dealership was one of 789 dealers named Thursday in a Chysler bankruptcy court filing, an attempt to get a bankruptcy court judge to cancel contracts with almost 25 percent of its dealer network.

“Chrysler is doing what they feel is necessary to survive,” said Augusta Dodge owner Greg Helfrich.

After speaking with other dealers, Mr. Helfrich said he concluded his dealership was selected because of its facility, location, and volume of used car sales to new car sales. He said that he was “not terribly shocked.”

“That being said, Augusta Dodge is a very profitable company. Even in this recession, we've been very profitable,” he said. “The hard part for me is how it affects the community and our employees.”

The Dodge dealership has 22 employees and has been in business for 12 years. Though he may not be allowed to sell new Chrysler-made cars after June 9, Mr. Helfrich can still be an active dealer and plans to sell used cars.

Mr. Helfrich said he is planning a return to Texas, and he has offered to bring some of his employees with him. He will pay their moving expenses to participate with him in other “business ventures.”

He said business has increased since the Chrysler announcement last week.

He said he has sold 25 to 30 new cars to customers and 35 cars to other dealers. He still has 90 new cars and 40 used cars to sell, he said. The dealership will also have an auction for all equipment, fixtures, computers and furniture.

Mr. Helfrich said the company is healthy and will not enter bankruptcy.

“I'd like to thank our customers for their patronage, and we'll miss them. It's been a wonderful 12 years in Augusta,” Mr. Helfrich said.

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LaTwon
1
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LaTwon 05/19/09 - 03:23 pm
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he will stay open yet move to

he will stay open yet move to texas and auction off all of the fixtures and equipment. must be some kind of obama plan...

humbleopinion
0
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humbleopinion 05/19/09 - 04:19 pm
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It's obvious that the Obama

It's obvious that the Obama administration doesn't have a clue about business....Let's see here, uh, our sales are down so lets get rid of our means of actually selling cars. Seems backwards to me, but then this IS the Obama administration after all. They have no other agenda than to destroy America, one industry at a time.

timljohnson
0
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timljohnson 05/19/09 - 04:56 pm
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Wasn't it the Republicans

Wasn't it the Republicans that said "let 'em fail"? Obama is trying to save America's manufacturing base knucklehead.

RU4Real
0
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RU4Real 05/19/09 - 05:06 pm
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Tthis is confusing. If he is

Tthis is confusing. If he is moving and selling everything, how is he going to remain a dealer in Augusta? I think he gone, and will sell the location.

userone
43
Points
userone 05/19/09 - 05:08 pm
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I am an Obama/Biden supporter

I am an Obama/Biden supporter and will always be. This country needs a big change. Time to get rid of the good old boy system.

pointstoponder
153
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pointstoponder 05/19/09 - 05:28 pm
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And replace it with what

And replace it with what userone?

jcbrown714
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jcbrown714 05/19/09 - 09:07 pm
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We love Vinnie in the service

We love Vinnie in the service department--what will Augusta do without him??

gcap
270
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gcap 05/19/09 - 09:20 pm
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Chrysler has been in trouble

Chrysler has been in trouble for decades. Their dealers are victims of mismanagement and labor unions. When both are incompetent, you're doomed to failure.

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