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Two more GM dealers in CT close

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Thomas Cadillac Of Hartford, Parsons Chevrolet Of Farmington Shut Down

By ERIC GERSHON and KENNETH R. GOSSELIN | The Hartford Courant

February 25, 2009

Connecticut auto dealerships continue to disappear amid the meltdown of the U.S. automobile industry.

In Hartford, Thomas Cadillac on Weston Street, a dealership that has operated in the city since 1929, closed last Friday. The closing follows the shutdown in December of Tony March Buick- Pontiac- GMC and Saturn of Hartford, also in the North Meadows area of Hartford.

Parsons Chevrolet of Farmington also shut down Friday. It was founded in 1916 by Robert E. Parsons and had been run by his grandson, Richard Parsons.

Both family-owned dealerships are among the oldest and best-known to close since the start of the year.

At Parsons on Scott Swamp Road, cars have already been moved off the lot and will be sold by Southern Auto Auction of East Windsor, Richard Parsons said.

"It just came to the point where I had to pull the plug," Parsons said. "I delayed it as long as I possibly could."

About 50 Connecticut auto dealerships have closed or consolidated in the last 14 months, about 20 of them since the start of 2009, according to the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association.

Falling sales combined with a scarcity of credit for financing inventory and operational expenses forced Parsons to close, he said. About 25 of the company's 30 employees have been laid off. The rest remain to help close up the business, a process he expects to take 30 to 60 days.

In the last year, Parsons' sales of new cars fell 7 percent, he said.

In Hartford, the Thomas family bought what became the Thomas dealership in 1978, and in 1995 they moved it to the North Meadows from its original location on Albany Avenue.

In late January, the Thomas family had sold its Jaguar dealership to Jaguar Hartford for an undisclosed price.

Douglas M. Thomas, the dealership's vice president and general manager, said the Thomas family tried to sell the Cadillac franchise but couldn't get approval quickly enough from the manufacturer.

Business had slowed to such a point "that it didn't seem prudent to stay open," Thomas said.

The dealership had 35 employees. Six transferred to the new Jaguar dealership but the rest have or will lose their jobs.

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one of the mainstay Chevy dealerships folded 30 min away from my house 2 weeks ago. no one saw it coming really.

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I hate to see dealers close but it has to happen.

We just has a Chevy dealer taken over by the local family owned BPG dealer.

The crazy thing is the Family dealer was a Olds dealer and took over the BPG dealer a few years before the closing of Olds.

Funny how they can see this coming like most of us but so many other fail to adjust to the market.

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