Dealership closing leaves customers in a bind

November 24, 2008 7:13:00 PM PST
The Peninsula Dodge dealership in Redwood City is busy, but not in a good way. Customers and former employees are descending on the abruptly closed business.

Rick Serna was one of the first to know about the dealership's closing. He got word Friday night he was out of a job.

"I got a call from a co-worker telling me I didn't have to come back to work and then later on I got a call from my general sales manager telling me it was true," Serna said.

Mechanics picked up their tools and dozens of customers picked up their cars or had the towed.

"Pretty much everybody has a look of shock on them like I guess they didn't expect it," customer Wil Velasco said.

Minnesota auto dealer Denny Hecker closed six lots and sold three, including Peninsula Dodge. There is no information on plans for the future; the dealership refused to be interviewed by ABC7.

But some customers have gotten reassurances from the transition team. Jerry Bower's motor home is being taken to a Burlingame Dodge dealership for service.

"I feel better that I know Chrysler Financial is handling it and they are going to relocate it and that everything is here to the other dealer," Bower said.

Serna is not finding much comfort, though. He is out of work and thinks the Big Three automakers have not shown any leadership in front of Congress.

"I've been watching it and I think they ought to get their stuff together," Serna said.

Customers that have a car at the dealership or have other questions can contact Peninsula Dodge through its parent company, the Denny Hecker Automotive Group at 888-836-8383 or e-mail customer@dennyhecker.com.


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