How did we get here?
Both Chrysler and GM have dealership networks that were built when they had a much larger share of the U.S. market. As both lost market share to Japanese and other overseas brands, GM and Chrysler ended up with too many dealers.
A hearing is scheduled for June 3 for the bankruptcy judge to determine whether to approve Chrysler's motion. Chrysler wants to shed the dealerships by June 9.
How will this affect communities?
Many communities depend on dealers for everything from newspaper advertising to Little League sponsorships. The National Automobile Dealers Association says about 40,000 people work at the affected dealerships, though many will keep their jobs. The average dealer spends $16.5 million per year in the community, including sales, payroll taxes and charitable contributions, said Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association. On top of that, laid-off workers will spend less, and towns will suffer from lost tax revenue.
Is my Chrysler warranty still in effect?
Yes. Your vehicle is still covered under whatever bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty you received when the car was purchased. Chrysler said the company will be notifying by early June the 3.5 million customers who bought their vehicles from the affected dealerships where they'll need to go now to service their vehicles.
Will another dealer honor my warranty?
Your warranty will be honored by another certified Chrysler dealer. It won't be honored by another automaker's dealership.
Is this a good time to buy a new Chrysler? Will closing dealers have a fire sale?
Perhaps. But while "everything must go," the dealers still need to make money. Chrysler already has some of the most generous incentives in the industry. According to Edmunds.com, a site that offers information to car shoppers, Chrysler offered $4,383 in incentives per vehicle in April, down from $4,889 in March but up from $3,795 in April 2008.