Rejected Chrysler and GM Dealerships Unite

Several rejected Chrysler and General Motors dealerships will establish a used-car chain, according to Automotive News.

Some former Chrysler executives and dealers are helping recruit the dealerships for the new venture, called AutoStar Superstore.

George Lovato Jr., chairman of AutoStar Dealer Network in Albuquerque, says AutoStar will offer dealers a nationally branded certified used-car program, floor plan financing, dealer management system software, employee training, vehicle warranties, a national Web site for consumers, vehicle procurement, and other services. Lovato is the founder of Rent Rite Car Rental Systems Inc.

Dealers in the program will pay an initial licensing fee ranging from $6,200 in rural areas up to $37,500 in metropolitan markets. The metropolitan stores should be ready to sell 100 or more used cars a month. The first five stores are set to open Oct. 1, with one store located in each of the following locations: Albuquerque, N.M.; Portland, Ore.; Las Vegas; St. George, Utah; and Pittsburg, Texas. AutoStar Dealer Network plans to open five stores a month for the first three months and then increase to 10 a month, Lovato says.

The AutoStar board includes Ken Zangara, vice chairman and a former Dodge dealer in Albuquerque; Tom McAlear, former COO of DaimlerChrysler Financial Services; and Mike Yatsko, retired director of dealer operations for Chrysler; and Art Laws, owner of what was Timberline Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge in Portland.

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