Skip to comments.Marhofer closing in Stow is a "shock' Owner: Dealership having "exceptional' year in vehicle sales
Posted on 08/06/2009 8:21:32 AM PDT by mom4melody
Marhofer closing in Stow is a "shock' Owner: Dealership having "exceptional' year in vehicle sales
By Mike Lesko
Stow Sentry Associate Editor
STOW Ron Marhofer could not believe his eyes.
I read it two or three times. I was shocked and surprised, he said Wednesday, after being informed in a letter by General Motors that Marhofer Chevrolet in Stow would lose its Chevrolet franchise next year.
Marhofer said the letter is confidential, but it said GM would not renew his franchise agreement as of October 2010.
The company has been in business in Stow since 1933 and is Summit Countys oldest Chevrolet dealer.
This is very emotional for me, Marhofer said. We have other dealerships, but this one was having an exceptional year.
He said another 20 or so 2010 models are expected to arrive, probably in the next few weeks, because they were previously ordered.
After that, no more new cars will be arriving at the dealership at 3423 Darrow Road, Stow.
Marhofer Chevrolet employs about 80 full- and part-time workers.
Marhofer said he informed his employees a couple weeks ago.
They were surprised, he said. Were like a family with a lot of long-term employees.
Stow Mayor Karen Fritschel said it is a very difficult time for Marhofer particularly because he cares so much for his employees. He told me that over and over again.
She called the decision by GM very disheartening.
Why would you close that dealership? Fritschel said. It is doing so well. It doesnt make any sense.
Marhofer asked that question to General Motors officials.
The answer I was given was, We cant tell you, he said.
Fritschel described Marhofer as a great supporter of the city.
He contributes to many community and charity events, she said. He does it quietly. It would be a real loss not to have him a part of the city.
Visitors at the dealership can sign petitions voicing their displeasure. Also, Marhofer is urging people to contact government officials or the president of General Motors.
Marhofer hopes to get a helping hand from legislation by U.S. Rep. Steven LaTourette, of Bainbridge Township.
LaTourettes amendment to the annual Financial Services spending bill would force GM and Chrysler to restore dealer franchises.
The bill including the amendment was approved July 16 by the U.S. House of Representatives, said Deborah Setliff, of LaTourettes office.
Setliff said Wednesday that the bill is awaiting consideration by the U.S. Senate, which will not act on it until after the August recess. She said letters will be sent out soon by members of Congress asking Senators to support the bill.
In case that help does not materialize, Marhofer said he is considering what to do with the Stow location.
Im hoping that Ron Marhofer will be able to find another use for that land so he can stay in the city in some capacity, Fritschel said.
In the last two years, Marhofer said his was the highest-selling Chevrolet dealership in Summit County.
He said new-car sales are up 57 percent so far in 2009, while the market nationwide is down more than 40 percent.
Marhofer is president of the Ron Marhofer Auto Family, which includes a used-car auto mall in Akron, a Lincoln-Mercury and Mitsubishi dealership in Cuyahoga Falls, two Hyundai dealerships in Cuyahoga Falls and Green, and two Saturn dealerships in Belden Village and Chapel Hill.
Marhofer said the Stow dealership was opened by his uncle, Chester Chet Marhofer, in 1919.
Marhofers father, John Jack Marhofer, took over in the 1920s.
Ron Marhofer has been the owner since 1975.
Marhofer was asked what his next step is.
Were open for business, he said. We have plenty of cars to sell and a busy service department.
And were exploring other options when were no longer a Chevrolet dealer, he added.
He declined to say what those options are.
Im trying to figure out why the heck they closed a lot of these dealers before their clunker plan went into effect.
I thought the clunker plan was in effect, is it not?
Marhofer?! You gotta be kiddin’ me!
Correct. BUT, why can't they tell him?
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck....
It’s gonna get ugly in the future.
Government bureaucrats are with the government because they don’t have the disposition to be in private business. Just think, no risk to them, they don’t have to care, and they get power over others.
My daughter works for King County, Seattle and after growing up and working in our family that has businesses she says she can’t stand that attitude and work ethic at the county. Being a hard worker can be looked down on because you might make your co-worker’s laziness look bad.
I think you’re wrong about that. The Ministry of Truth (MiniTru) says there were only a couple of hundered. Please get your fact right comrade.
2 + 2 = 5
I’m wondering if a state with a republican majority could ban the sale of GM or Chrysler cars in their state for canceling legally held franchises in their state. Would be great payback.
Anyone else have a problem with that? What has happened to these dealers is a crying shame. But having Congress run the company is even worse.
The brown shirts of Obama at work. Is this how government runs a business?? Into the ground??
How did you find this?
My donation search site only had the one.
Advanced search. Enter the name on the first page then look for advanced search and select all periods.
Back in the 80s when I lived in Akron, I purchased several cars from Ron Marhofer. It was a small enough dealer that you could talk to him personally. He was one of the few car dealers that I found trustworthy. A good guy.
Sorry to hear this.
Check into the political and familial backgrounds of the dealers who are NOT being shut down.
It’e even money that some interesting items will emerge.....
They are just trying to fix a problem that they created by trying to fix another problem that they created by trying to fix a previous problem that they created by trying to fix a previous problem...
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I wonder how many other Chevrolet dealers there are within say a 8 - 10 mile radius? What are the sales comparison numbers, total volume, facility conditions, etc.