Minority Car Dealers Stand to Lose Big in Closures
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2009 4:30 PM CDT
The Archer Chrysler Jeep dealership in Houston, which is scheduled to close as part of Chrysler's restructuring process.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – African-American and Latino car dealers will likely take a big hit in the dealership closures announced by Chrysler and planned at GM, the Wall Street Journal reports. The minority dealerships, located mainly in urban areas, have faced stiff competition as business has moved increasingly to suburbia. “We're more vulnerable,” said the president of a minority dealer group. “We were the last ones to come to the table.”

A trade group predicts that 140 of just 175 minority-owned Chrysler dealerships and 175 of 300 GM dealerships will be closed. Many of those Chrysler dealers sell just one brand on their small city lots, rather than carrying Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles as a so-called Genesis dealer. They generally rent instead of own their property, making them even more vulnerable. Chrysler officials had no comment, but a GM exec said the company will consider safety nets for minority dealers. “We share their concern.”