12/30/08 — Goldsboro Chrysler Dodge Jeep closes

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Goldsboro Chrysler Dodge Jeep closes

By Staff Reports
Published in News on December 30, 2008 1:46 PM

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A sign saying Goldsboro Chrysler Dodge Jeep was closed "indefinitely" went up Monday

Goldsboro Chrysler Dodge Jeep has closed its doors.

The automobile and truck dealership erected signs Monday saying the company will be "indefinitely closed for business."

A company spokesman declined to comment this morning.

The Goldsboro Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership is owned by Hal Howard, who has become a local celebrity of sorts, especially through his leadership in the United Way. Two weeks ago, the annual Wayne County United Way fundraising campaign culminated with the giveaway of a Chrysler PT Cruiser at the dealership.

But on Monday, the doors to the showroom were locked and there were no signs of any salesmen at the business off U.S. 70 bypass, although there were plenty of vehicles still parked in the lot. A few employees worked out of the back of the business, in the parts and maintenance departments, but they had little to say.

Ironically, a few feet from the closing sign on the front door, a nearby sign touted "It's a new day."

Slow sales and the fallout from the nation's automobile industry crisis have left their mark on local dealerships across the nation. A dealership in Kinston closed several weeks ago and others in the area have admitted having trouble paying debts.

No paperwork was filed in the Wayne County Courthouse as of Monday indicating bankruptcy or any other legal problems on the part of Goldsboro Chrysler Dodge Jeep.

Nationally, Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler LLC is expecting $4 billion in cash from a federal government bailout package.