The end marks new beginnings

"D-Day" has arrived for me and my fellow Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge dealers. This is the day that we were supposed to lose our franchises. However, because of the legal proceedings, the end has yet to come.

Our dealership planned a staffed event to begin today, a kickoff for a new preowned store, one without the new vehicles from Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge. But we still have many new units left, so we have continued to sell these units today in hopes of liquidating the remaining inventory.

Fortunately, Chrysler has seen the light on ethics and morals and at least has agreed to remove any remaining inventory for only a charge of $350 per unit, should we have any left. The sting is bad, but not as bad as it could have been.

Interestingly enough, the big question that Chrysler has asked me and other dealers is how we plan on selling the new vehicles on my lot without being a franchised dealer.

My answer is simple: They're mine. Why can't I sell them? I have the manufacturer certificate of origin, and I don't floorplan. I'll continue to sell them as new, with or without the franchise, until they are all gone. This somewhat concerns Chrysler. Then again, they are the ones that placed me in this situation, right?

So most of this day has passed, and we've had a great "Used-Car Day" -- a day in which we actually have made money and satisfied our customers with products that they are not buried in and can trade within a reasonable time without taking a huge loss. As our sale continues, we'll continue to meet new customers and continue to provide affordable transportation to them.

All of this occurring with only one major change.

What could that change be? No new products? Not necessarily.

The biggest change for us is increased profitability.

I'm OK with that!

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