By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – Chrysler Motors has asked a federal bankruptcy judge to reject the franchise contracts with five dealers in the St. Louis area, including several big names.
Three dealerships bearing the Auffenberg name and Reuther Dodge-Jeep-Chrysler in Creve Coeur are among the locations Chrysler wants to close as it tries to exit bankruptcy protection. Most area dealers would not comment on Thursday's announcement.
Roberts Motors in Alton, Ill. has been told to clear all Chrysler vehicles off its lot by June 9th, said general manager John Roberts. But layoffs at the 45-person dealership aren't expected.
"After the 9th we won't be able to do warranty work on those Chrysler and Jeep products, but we can still do maintenance work for all our loyal customers, because we have a lot of people who use our shop on a regular basis," he said.
Roberts Motors is also a Ford dealership.
"I feel good about Ford's future," Roberts said. "I mean, the direction they're taking, all the good press that we've gotten, the new products that are here and coming. I think we're more than capable of holding our ground or maybe even improving on our business, even without Chrysler-Jeep."
Chrysler has until June 30th to make final dealership decisions. Roberts expects the list to change before then.