Supreme Court delays Chrysler sale, local dealers in limbo - WKRN News 2

Supreme Court delays Chrysler sale, local dealers in limbo


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The U.S. Supreme Court put the brakes on Italian automaker Fiat buying Chrysler and it's unclear how long the court delay will last.

After next Monday, Fiat can walk away from the deal.  It will then be likely Chrysler will be liquidated.

Local dealerships that are losing their Chrysler franchises are now stuck in neutral.

Potential car buyers have flocked to Southeast Automotive since word came in May that the dealership would lose its franchise agreement with Chrysler.  The agreement was set to expire Tuesday night.

For general manager Joey Huffines, it's been business as usual, albeit very busy business.

"It's been a zoo for 20-something days, our traffic count is three times what it has been," he told News 2.

Huffines said there are still more than 80 new cars on the lot at Southeast Automotive.

Any vehicles that aren't purchased by customers will be sold to a different dealership or sent back to the manufacturer.

If the Chrysler sale goes through and the franchise agreement is terminated, Southeast Automotive said it will sell late-model used vehicles and expand its Jeep customization business.

Huffines and many of the nearly others 800 dealers set to lose their franchise agreements say it's not fair they were given less than four weeks to clear their inventory.

"If I sell them all for invoice versus the factory taking them back now, that's a $200,000 savings in our business, and that's a lot," said Huffines.

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