Updated: Friday, 28 Aug 2009, 8:12 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 28 Aug 2009, 5:28 PM EDT
KENDALLVILLE, Ind., (WANE) --- - Newschannel 15's learned the economy is to blame for the unexpected shut down of a Kendallville Chrysler dealership. Workers say they had no idea it was closing and neither did customers.
"We knew the last couple of months have been rough, but we didn't see this coming," said the dealer's service manager Dave Cornett.
In less than a week, the Noble County Dodge Chrysler Jeep Dealership has gone from open for business to suddenly shut down.
No cars, and an empty building have greeted curious customers since Monday.
Cornett says,"It was abrupt, it was surprising to all the employees up here."
The former Evans dealership closed Monday at 5 p.m. Tough times were a big factor in the decision.
"Unfortunately, just tough times, small community. Unemployment's hit us pretty hard here. The dealership just wasn't as profitable as it once was," Cornett told NewsChannel 15.
The news seems to also be catching the dealer's customers off guard.
"It was out of the blue for me because I thought everything was going to be all right," said customer Terry Showen.
In a way, Showen says she feels ripped off. That's because she paid for extra service with her 2005 Town and Country: an extended warranty and lifetime oil change deal, which now seem to be worthless.
She says, "Very upset because that's part of the thing, the reason that I bought the vehicle, because of having that. That was one of the selling points to me."
The shut down dealer was owned by Evans Automotive Group, which also owns Evans Toyota in Fort Wayne.
It's not clear if that dealer will take over and honor some of those agreements like Terry's.
NewsChannel 15 contacted the General Manager at Evans Toyota Friday. He declined to comment on the situation.
Terry hopes the Fort Wayne dealer will help out customers in her same position.
"I feel because they are Evans, they are still a dealership. They were connected when we bought the vehicle," explains Terry. "They should stand by their warranty and their oil changes."
Cornett says as far as extended warranties, most vehicles can be
taken to any other local Chrysler of Dodge dealers.
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