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John Hine Says Chrysler Ran Him Right Off The Road

Posted: May 21, 2009 8:33 PM EDT Updated: May 21, 2009 8:37 PM EDT

It's a race against time for some Chrysler dealers across the country. They now have less than three weeks to sell all of their inventory. Longtime local Chrysler dealer John Hine feels he's been left holding the bag with the new cars on his lot.

A new Dodge Nitro at John Hine had a suggested retail price of is over $22,000. The price today?

"Brand new we're selling this car for $14,999, so that's a $7,000 discount," Hine said.

Hine is literally losing money on every new Dodge on his lot. He says it's worth it because the alternative is even worse. Chrysler has stripped his franchise, effective on June 9.

"We're left with new car inventory that we legally can't sell to a customer," Hine said.

That means selling it for pennies on the dollar to another Dodge dealer, so Hine came up with a better idea.

"I'd rather sell cars to a customer here in San Diego that's potential to remain in the Hine service family," Hine said.

Hine is one of 789 Chrysler dealers around the country forced out of business because of the car maker's bankruptcy restructuring.

"You know, a lot of people don't realize this is the largest bankruptcy filed in the history of the United States," Hine said.

Hine now has only just over two weeks to get rid of every new Dodge on his lot - a move this dealership has never seen before, and it's been around for a very long time.

John Hine's dad started selling cars back in 1942.

"When we moved to San Diego in 1957 he was able to acquire a Pontiac dealership from Ty Tyson up on El Cajon Boulevard," Hine said.

Eight years later he moved his dealership to Mission Valley. Now Hine's son is being forced to turn the page on the dealership's future. His dad passed away 13 years ago, but if he was around today?

"He would just be shocked, wouldn't believe. There'd be disbelief," Hine said.

Hine still has his Pontiac dealership, at least until GM stops making them next year, and he has his Mazda dealership, which will remain open and probably will be expanded.

LINK:John Hine Says Chrysler Ran Him Right Off The Road - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

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23,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
What Would Happen?

O.K here is the deal: Our Nitros may be worth much less than before and if you financed it as I did you need to check your Insurance Coverage on it as I have. I first realizable that by adding wood, spoilers, Catback exhaust, CAI and many other accessories I needed additional coverage in the unlikely case that that this vehicle was stolen or totaled. I have experienced total losses before and coverage will not usually include non-factory added on accessories. So I called my Insurance Agent and told them what I had done and they had a "Customizing Equipment Coverage Endorsement" in the amount of an additional $2,000, that I added.

Now with the price of new NITROs being reduced to "fire sale" prices there is a another even bigger issue you should all be aware of! What would you receive as payment (if you would not receive a replacement NITRO) if indeed your vehicle was stolen or totaled? Would it cover the balance of your loan or lease? It may not and as I looked at my present coverage I found it did not cover any short fall! I upgraded my car insurance (Agent said he did not recommend it?) to "Ultra Plus" that has LOAN/LEASE "Gap Coverage" that will now pay the balance of a loan or lease if your auto is a total loss.

Now here is what it cost me to have an addition $2K coverage plus the Gap Coverage, $54 more a year. Yes just $4.50 a month in these hard times, but look what it could save me just in case. Something for all you members to consider! Good Luck (I sleep better now!)

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23,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
NITRO 40% Off

May 23, 2009
Dealerships on Chrysler’s Chopping Block Slash Prices

DETROIT — Most of the 789 car dealerships that Chrysler is cutting by June 9 have slashed prices by thousands of dollars as they desperately try to clear the vehicles clogging their lots before then.

Their misfortune in being rejected as part of the carmaker’s reorganization in bankruptcy is creating unprecedented bargains for car shoppers.

“No offer anywhere near reasonable will be refused,” says the Web site of Preston Chrysler Jeep in Warren, Ohio.

“If you ever wanted to absolutely steal a Chrysler or Jeep, get to Buzz Leonard today. Save over $9,000,” shouts the voiceover in an ad for Buzz Leonard Chrysler Jeep in Panama City, Fla.

In Dubuque, Iowa, Mike Finnin Chrysler Jeep has a clock on its Web site counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until its franchise is terminated June 9. It is advertising discounts of as much as 30 percent, a savings of up to $10,634.

“Some of these prices are so embarrassing,” the owner, Mike Finnin, said. “We’re just doing whatever it takes to sell these vehicles. We’re losing money on most of them.”

Because Chrysler is operating in bankruptcy protection, it is refusing to buy back any of its dealers’ vehicles. When it announced the dealer cuts May 14, it said there were 44,000 vehicles at those stores.

The Jeep dealers that Chrysler is cutting are selling their vehicles for about $1,205 less than other dealers, according to, a Web site that gives car-buying advice to consumers. At the beginning of this year, those same dealers were selling vehicles for about $710 less than the others.

The difference has more than quadrupled at dealers selling Chrysler models, which generally sell for $20,000 to $30,000. Shoppers are saving an average of $2,672 by buying a Chrysler model from a dealer being terminated rather than another Chrysler brand dealer, Edmunds said. The savings offered by Dodge dealers that are being cut over other Dodge dealers is $823.

Dealers say business has been brisk, though not very profitable, since starting their big sales, as consumers hearing about the dealer cutbacks rushed out to find deals. They expect sales to slow as lots begin to get picked over and more popular models become harder to find.

Pohanka Chrysler Dodge in Leesburg, Va., sold 20 new vehicles in the first few days of its liquidation sale and still has about 100 left. Normally the store would need three months to make that many sales.

This week, Pohanka sold a Dodge Nitro sport utility vehicle for $17,510, 40 percent less than its sticker price of $29,170.

“That’s thousands of dollars less than what we would have gotten before,” the dealer, Ray O’Bryhim, said. “We’ve got a very short period of time.”

Although General Motors also is cutting a large number of dealerships, they are not scheduled to lose their franchises until late next year, so most have not started liquidation sales.

Many of the Chrysler stores plan to stay open and sell used cars or other brands. They are in the awkward position of trying to unload their inventory without giving the impression they are closing. That is why Fury Dudge, in Lake Elmo, Minn., is having a “not going out of business sale.”

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