Chrysler on Thursday announced the closing of two of the five dealerships in Lancaster County that sell models of the third-largest car company in the United States.
But once the dust settles from the closing of 50 Chrysler dealerships across Pennsylvania and 789 nationwide as part of the company's bankruptcy restructuring, Lancaster County is still expected to have five Chrysler dealerships.
"I couldn't be happier," said Pete Hondru, president of Hondru Auto Group, which owns Hondru Chrysler/GMC on Main Street in Manheim. "Basically, I'm still going to be selling Chryslers, and I'm gaining a Jeep dealership."
Hondru Chrysler and Wissler Chrysler-Jeep in Mount Joy are the two Lancaster County Chrysler dealerships on the list of those targeted for closing by June 9.
According to Hondru, his Chrysler dealership is expected to go to Keller Brothers Dodge in Lititz and Wissler's Chrysler-Jeep dealership is supposed to move to Hondru Dodge in Elizabethtown.
"They want to get Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep all in the same place," said Hondru, who has been selling Chrysler vehicles for 25 years. "That works great for me in Elizabethtown."
Hondru plans to continue selling GMC trucks from his Manheim facility and is working on adding another dealership there as well.
As for his inventory of Chrysler vehicles in Manheim, Hondru said, "We'll probably just buy it and move it to Elizabethtown."
The Wissler family also is expected to benefit from the shuffling, Hondru said.
The family's Susquehanna Dodge dealership in Wrightsville is expected to pick up a Chrysler-Jeep dealership.
A reporter's phone calls to Wissler Chrysler-Jeep on Thursday were not immediately returned.
According to Dan Melchiorre, president of Lancaster Dodge along Manheim Pike and owner of Warner Chrysler-Jeep in Hummelstown, the Chrysler dealerships targeted for closing are smaller and do not sit on major highways.
Warner Chrysler-Jeep is one of those dealerships.
"We didn't fit the size and location requirements the company established," he said. "Sales had nothing to do with it, because we were the best-performing dealer in the market."
Melchiorre said he plans to sell used cars at the Hummelstown location and continue to operate a service center there once the Chrysler dealership closes.
"We have a loyal customer base there, and we will continue to serve them," he said.
At Chrysler dealerships not marked for closing Thursday, "It's business as usual," said Bill Durkota, president of Brubaker Chrysler-Jeep along Lititz Pike.
"This doesn't affect us at all," he said. "If anything, it will help us out because there will be fewer dealerships now."