Chrysler dealership to remain in Austin

Published 9:55 am Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Holiday Cars, Inc., Austin has escaped Chrysler Corp.’s belt-tightening effort of dealer closings.

Nineteen Minnesota Chrysler dealers must shut their doors, according to a list Chrysler submitted last Thursday in a New York bankruptcy court.

According to the Associated Press, Chrysler’s list, part of nearly 800 stores to close nationwide, is driven by a government mandate that Chrysler dramatically shrink in size.

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The news was met with outrage from dealers and the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association who insist that the market, not a list, should dictate what becomes of the independently owned dealerships. It is not clear exactly when the closings must take place, but all are expected to shut before the end of 2010. There are about 3,200 Chrysler dealerships nationwide.

Most of the Minnesota dealers Chrysler targeted are in outstate, Minnesota.

Lyons Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep of Mason City, Iowa, is on the Chrysler Corporation list of potential closings. Holiday Cars, Inc. is not on the list.

The Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep dealership along West Oakland Avenue in Austin has been a fixture in the business community for more than four decades.

More recently, the owners acquired the Austin Ford, Lincoln, Mercury dealership, too. Nathan Toland, general manager for both dealerships, said, “We’ve been in business here for 41 years, and we hope to remain in business for another 41 years or more.”

Toland said he and all of Holiday Cars Inc. sympathize with the other outstate Minnesota Chrysler dealers, facing closings.

“Our hearts go out to all the dealerships in southeastern Minnesota and northern Iowa and to their families facing closings,” he said.