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Chrysler’s Capital move

The collapse of Capital Chrysler has led to ChryslerJeep UK rethinking its representation in London and an announcement is likely by the end of the year.

One of the larger dealer groups representing the brands is expected to replace Capital Chrysler in Colindale and Balham, and fill open points in Croydon, Battersea and Enfield.

Simon Elliott, managing director of CJUK, says: “We are still in discussion with the management of Capital Chrysler to try to find out what went wrong.

“I would like to know whether it was down to funding or performance, but this does present us with an opportunity. London is a tough market place because costs are high and dealers have to work extremely hard to make profits.

“We are talking to a number of dealer groups who represent us in the capital and have had positive conversations with a couple of them. We hope one will expand with us, spread costs and increase the viability of their business.”

Elliott says there is no question of ChryslerJeep increasing margins for London dealers, even if it wanted to, because that would be anti-competitive.

He believes the addition of several new models will make 2006 ChryslerJeep’s breakthrough year, with the addition of the Dodge brand adding to profit potential for its London dealers.

Capital Chrysler failed within six months of its start-up in February following Clive Sutton’s decision to leave franchised car retailing and concentrate on his Premier Marques business. Sutton retained a small stake in the new business.

A former employee of Capital Chrysler says: “We have received no redundancy payment, and are still owed money for time worked. No one has told us why the business failed.”

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