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Jardine Motors drops its Chrysler franchises

Top 10 AM100 group Jardine Motors has dropped its three Chrysler sales franchises.

The group has closed its Lancaster Chrysler Dodge and Jeep dealership in Bishops Stortford, and ended new car sales at its dealerships in Lakeside and Southend.

Both Lakeside and Southend will remain as authorised repairers and Jardine will continue to sell used stock at the sites. 

Alun Jones, Jardine chief executive, said: “We had a lease that was going to run out at the end of 2008 at Bishops Stortford, but we decided to end it early. 

“The decision was property driven, but we have also been looking at the sales climate over the next six months and decided the best thing to do was to exit new car sales with the franchise.”

Jones told AM that dealers and manufacturers are generally experiencing the same kind of difficulties at the moment. He said: “We’re looking at our cost bases and so are they. 

"We’re currently trying to minimise our exposure to stock and I think manufacturers are responding to that. Cuts in production should relieve the pressure.

“We’re trying to reduce the amount of low mileage used cars we have and concentrate on higher mileage models to give us a wider spread.”

A large number of UK dealers are expected to exit the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge franchises in 2009 due to the decline in their market shares from 0.77% in 2007 to 0.64% in 2008, according to SMMT figures. The carmaker wants to work with its retailers to improve profitability.



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