Dealer closes location, but not because of poor sales

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More comings and goings in the auto dealer business.

Saturn of St. Paul has closed its East Metro operation on Hudson Road in Maplewood. The dealership has sold the property, according to General Manager David Roen, but not because of the economy, apparently.

“The timing makes it seem that it is related to the current environment but even if times were better we probably would have sold the property. Yes, the other three locations are open for business. Our business seems to be better than the general market. Our used business is up 7%, our midsized car(Aura) business is up 37%, our compact SUV business is down slightly (3%) and our 8 passenger crossover business (Outlook) is up 1%,” he said.

Last week, 400 employees of Denny Hecker lost their jobs when his company sold three dealerships and closed six others.

MPR’s William Wilcoxen reports more dealer closings are expected in these parts.

  • Al

    I’m sad to see it go. I (used to) take my cars there exclusively for service. It seemed to me that the service department just wasn’t the same outstanding quality I had come to expect since about the beginning of the year. I think the service manager, Eric, left about then. It was still a good place to go, but something seemed different.

    That said, I got my oil changed there last Friday and had outstanding service. I only found out as I was leaving that I would be one of their last customers. They did say that all of the employees were moved to other Saturn of St. Paul locations.

  • http://Iwuzthinking.blogspot.com Bruce

    When Denny’s face started appearing on the back of buses and advertising financing for things like mortgages, I began to wonder, “Shouldn’t he be sticking to cars?”

    He was “cut-off” from the easy credit of Detroit, and started shopping this story around to the press, but I’m saving my empathy for his laid-off employees.

  • bsimon

    “The dealership has sold the property, according to General Manager David Roen, but not because of the economy, apparently.”

    Why then? Did the value of the real estate appreciate enough that selling the property produced more cash than selling cars?