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Chrysler Dealerships Closing

Chrysler Dealerships ClosingChrysler Dealerships Closing In Connecticut.

Chrysler LLC's plan to cut 789 of its 3,200 U.S. dealerships includes at least one in Connecticut that's already closed — Holley Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Middletown went out of business on April 17, owner Robert G. Holley said today.

Holley was one of seven Connecticut Chrysler dealerships that the failing Detroit automaker said it would be closing, according to documents it filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York Thursday.

The others are in Newtown, Naugatuck, Woodbridge, Torrington, Enfield and New London.

Chrysler says its network of dealers has too many stores competing with each other.

Dealers can appeal the move. Chrysler has received $4 billion in federal loans and has been operating in bankruptcy protection since April 30. The company says many of the dealers' sales are too low. It says just over 50 percent of the dealers account for about 90 percent of the company's U.S. sales.

Holley, who owned the Middletown dealership since 1987, said he had previously hoped to stay in business as a used car dealer. But Chrysler wanted him to make an additional investment of $400,000 to qualify for further financing for the cars he would sell, he said.

"I don't have $400,000," he said.

He said he was retiring and that his son, his partner in the dealership, would find other work in the auto industry.

Holly said he formally gave up the franchise on April 17. He and all 25 of his employees lost their jobs.

"It's a horrible market out there," he said.

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