John Hine Dealership Closing In San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

John Hine Dealership Closing In San Diego

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More grim economic news for the auto industry and two local dealerships - Chrysler plans to close nearly 800 dealerships across the U.S. by next month.

"To think how you could close a dealership down in three weeks flabbergasts us both...John and myself," said John Hine General Manager Dave Miller.

John Hine has been selling Dodge manufactured vehicles for 16 years, but received notice Thursday that the relationship will end on June 9.

"They want dealers to be Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and we were just Dodge," Miller explained.

Hine is caught up in Chrysler's restructuring, which includes eliminating 789 dealerships nationwide. Chrysler says right now they have too many dealerships competing with each other, so they're getting rid of their lower performing franchises.

"At the end of the day, they can't support them and that is what is going on," said George Magliano with NA Auto Industry Research.

That means all new cars need to be gone from the lot in just three and a half weeks.

It's a tough time for Hine, who also sells Pontiacs, which GM plans to discontinue making next year.

But Hine is not going out of business. His Mazda dealership is still strong and will most likely be expanded.

"I think the focus on Mazda will make up the sales we lost from Dodge and eventually Pontiac," noted Miller.

Hine will also continue to service Dodge vehicles - even after they stop selling them. They just won't be able to do warranty work.

"Disappointing," says Miller, who tells News 8 the dealership has 17,000 loyal customers - customers they're committed to keeping.

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