Letter from a Dodge dealer
May 19, 2009
letter to the editor
My name is George C. Joseph. I am the sole owner of Sunshine Dodge-Isuzu,
a family owned and operated business in Melbourne, Florida. My family
bought and paid for this automobile franchise 35 years ago in 1974. I am
the second generation to manage this business.
We currently employ 50+ people and before the economic slowdown we
employed over 70 local people. We are active in the community and the
local chamber of commerce. We deal with several dozen local vendors on a
day to day basis and many more during a month. All depend on our
business for part of their livelihood. We are financially strong with
great respect in the market place and community. We have strong local
presence and stability.
On Thursday, May 14, 2009 I was notified that my Dodge franchise, that we
purchased, will be taken away from my family on June 9, 2009 without
compensation and given to another dealer at no cost to them. My new
vehicle inventory consists of 125 vehicles with a financed balance of 3
million dollars. This inventory becomes impossible to sell with no
factory incentives beyond June 9, 2009. Without the Dodge franchise we
can no longer sell a new Dodge as "new," nor will we be able to do any
warranty service work. Additionally, my Dodge parts inventory,
(approximately $300,000.) is virtually worthless without the ability to
perform warranty service. There is no offer from Chrysler to buy back the
vehicles or parts inventory.
Our facility was recently totally renovated at Chrysler s insistence,
incurring a multi-million dollar debt in the form of a mortgage at Sun
HOW IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CAN THIS HAPPEN?