In general, though, dealers have sold most or all of their new Chryslers either to retail buyers or other dealers. Some report big losses, but others experienced modest losses or broke even.
“We are selling cars to anybody and everybody,” said Rick Shaub, owner of Montrose Dodge in Germantown. Mr. Shaub said he will continue in business, selling used cars.
“We’ve had a lot of traffic, but 90 percent of them think we’re going to give them away,” he said. “But on most of our cars sold, we’re making money or breaking even.”
However, Mr. Shaub reports he has sold only half of his new Dodges, and plans to transfer the rest to other dealers on terms set by Chrysler.
The automaker extended its deadline for dealers to reach sale terms with other dealers from Tuesday to Monday the deadline for the Fiat deal. That won’t be necessary for some.
“I don’t have any leftover inventory,” Mr. Fitzgerald said, adding that he “lost a lot of money.”
Elias Kymingham, general manager of Laurel Dodge, family run since 1964, also said his lot was empty. The dealership has 26 employees, and some have been there for 30 years.
Laurel Dodge will continue selling used cars and doing non-warranty service, he said. The business has a strong balance sheet and no debt, he said.
The legislation protecting dealer franchises is co-sponsored by two key Maryland Democrats, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who works closely with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.
The two congressmen will hold a press conference Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. to discuss the bill, which has been promoted by Mr. Fitzgerald, a major business constituent for both.