Doors close on 13th largest US dealer group

13 car dealerships in 6 states
2700 employees
2007 revenues: $2.13 Billion
Number 13 on the Automotive News Top 125 U.S. dealer groups.

The doors are closed.

There was a time when working for a large dealer group was safe. There was a time when the top selling Chevrolet store (or group of stores) would have been untouchable. These are different times.

Bill Heard Enterprises apparently notified dealer General Managers at 2 pm yesterday that their stores would be closing. High fuel prices, canceled floorplan financing from GMAC, lagging truck sales, the national economy and local market challenges are all being blamed for the closures. Stories are being told of service departments calling customers to get their cars out and new car customers arriving to take delivery, only to be handed the keys to their trade in. Some stores are already gated.

The big winners in all of this must be neighboring dealers, who will be able to pick up on substantial service business, not to mention new and used car sales. For once, finding technicians to fill the gaps should prove easy.

This should be a pretty hefty wake up call to the rest of the auto industry!

Source Automotive News

Comments

  1. says

    From Automotive News…

    The 58-store dealership group owned by NASCAR-team owner Rick Hendrick has discussed expanding its company with “the folks at Bill Heard Enterprises,” Hendrick said late Friday in a statement.

    Hendrick Automotive Group is vying to buy some of the Bill Heard Enterprises stores, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The 13 Heard stores, which formed the world’s top-selling Chevrolet dealership group, closed Wednesday, Sept. 24.

    “I personally have appreciated their time and effort. If something comes of our conversations, we certainly will announce it,” Hendrick’s statement said. “If there’s a potential opportunity to expand our company, we’re always going to be interested in discussing it.”

    Carl Gregory Enterprises Inc., a dealership group based in Columbus, Ga., is in talks to buy Heard’s flagship store in Columbus, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported. Gregory owns 10 stores in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama.

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