The Overland Park car dealer sold new and used Chrysler Corporation cars the old fashioned way – straight forward, honest and fair. The company’s reward for its high road approach in an industry where such values and tactics are not exactly considered the norm: a corporate dagger in the back.
“Well, after 60 years I don’t think you take it in stride,” muses owner Phil Brown. “I felt betrayed and I think our customers were betrayed. I don’t think (Chysler) did what’s best for its customers, and our customers tell us the same thing. Because we took good care of them and now they’ve lost their franchise dealer.”
Brown got his first Dear John letter from Chrysler in May, then a throat cutting memorandum June 9th.
“We came into work that day and 90 percent of communication with the factory was cut off,” Brown says. “And we were done.”
In preparation for the axing, Brown had sold down his new car inventory from the usual 130 to 36 cars.
“Well, we were a victim of circumstances,” Brown says. “And we didn’t expect it either, based on what they were feeding to the public and the press beforehand. The big part of it was political, not the conspiracy you’ve heard on Fox News, But I think the White House pulled a lot of strings.”
Brown stopped short of spelling things out, but the general gist is that somehow