Shock, Anger Settle In for Car Dealers

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2009 6:20 PM CDT
Mark Sellz stands by photographs and other mementos in the dealership owned by his family for 40 years in Van Nuys, Calif. on Thursday, May 14, 2009.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of Chrysler dealers are reeling from notices that give them less than a month to close up shop, CBS News reports. "This was a sucker punch for my brother and I," said Rob Engel, who has been selling Chrysler vehicles in New Jersey since the Reagan presidency. "I'm making the transition from shock to anger." With 100 cars on the lot—too many to sell in a few weeks—he may, like Chrysler, have to go bankrupt.

Long Island Jeep dealer Jim Anderer also received the dreaded Chrysler notice. With millions of dollars of inventory and 48 jobs at stake, "I have no choice," Anderer said. "I'm going to sue." The third dealer contacted by CBS, Geoff Pohanka of Maryland, is better off because he also sells vehicles by GM; the company is giving dealers 18 months to shut down. Still, "we really do not know specifically our future," he said. "If we will have a future."