When the recession hit and Chrysler went bankrupt, most remaining Chrysler dealers hunkered down by slashing inventory.
Charlie Brown built up.
Brown, 39, was then the used-car manager for Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep of Eugene, a Lithia Motors Inc. store in Eugene, Ore. He tried to call Chrysler Financial one day. The phone rang repeatedly. Eventually, a custodian picked up the phone and told him that the lender was dissolved.
"Needless to say, the company's capital was gone," Brown, now general manager of Beaverton Buick-GMC and Portland Cadillac, both in Portland, Ore., said. "New-car sales were almost impossible with Chrysler in bankruptcy."