Patrick Rall's picture

Chrysler may sell the LA Motor Village

Due to some legal sour grapes by some California Chrysler brand dealerships, the Chrysler Group may be forced to sell their stake in the spectacular Motor Village dealership in LA which features the company’s plans of having all five brands under one roof with salon style accessory and aftersales offerings joining the sales, service and parts for every vehicle under the Chrysler umbrella.

In late May, TorqueNews reported that a handful of Chrysler brand dealerships in the Los Angeles area were upset about the automaker’s involvement in the massive Motor Village dealership (click here for the original article detailing the investigation). This multilevel building offers unique showroom areas for each of the five brands currently offered by the Chrysler Group as well as a variety of small “boutiques” around the building with brand specific apparel, aftermarket items for Chrysler vehicles and your general dealership-sold odds and ends like mouse pads and die cast cars. I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the Motor Village and it is truly a remarkable facility – a little too remarkable if you ask the other Chrysler Group dealerships in the area.

According to the California New Car Dealers Association, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) prohibits an automaker from operating a car dealership within 10 miles of another non-company run dealership. Unfortunately, there are three Chrysler branded dealerships within 10 miles so the California New Car Dealers Association has requested that the California DMV investigate the ownership legalities around the Motor Village. Chrysler initially responded by pointing out that they do not operate Motor Village LA, but the company only owns the facility and the business itself is operated by a pair of dealership owners who have multiple locations in California, Michigan and Florida. The California New Car Dealers Association replies by pointing out that the group operating Motor Village LA is also getting a massive break in overhead – paying roughly a quarter of what that type of storefront should demand in rent.

The Detroit News is reporting that Chrysler may be looking to unload their stake in the Motor Village to prevent anything from damaging their stunning new dealership. The Motor Village LA is intended to be a look at what Chrysler hopes to see from their dealerships in the not-so-distant future, so the automaker is making the changes needed to ensure that they do not lose their license to do business at that location. Sergio Marchionne has passed this issue off as something that will be smoothly and quickly resolved and according to several sources, Detroit based dealership group the Suburban Collection could be the one to buy the Motor Village, as the CEO of the Suburban Group is involved in the current managing group. Suburban operates dealerships in Michigan and Florida, with hopes to spread their business to the west coast that would be well supported by owning one of the most impressive dealerships I’ve ever seen.

Image: a look at the Ram brand wing inside of the Motor Village LA.

Source: The Detroit News

Other Chrysler News:
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Fiat to buy final US gov’t Chrysler stake for $560 million
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Canadian government may sell remaining stake to Fiat
Fiat plans to buy last 6.6% of Chrysler from US govt
A week behind the wheel of the 2011 Dodge Avenger Heat
Chrysler's Ram brand delivers its first plug-in hybrid pickups


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