Starr Motors avoids the ax

Published 10:25 pm Thursday, May 14, 2009

Starr Motors received word Thursday morning that it escaped the 789 Chrysler dealership closings throughout the nation.

“I’m very relieved,” said Eddie White, who is part owner with his father and brother. “It’s just been very hectic, very trying times.”

The only Hampton Roads dealership to stop carrying new Chrysler products will be Tysinger Motor Company in Hampton. The dealership carries other brands, and therefore could remain open with its other products.

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Other nearby dealerships that got pink slips from Chrysler were Waverly Motors in Waverly and Grafton Dodge Inc. in Grafton. In all, 25 dealerships lost the Chrysler brands in Virginia, in virtually every area of the state.

“We’ve been a five-star dealer, what Chrysler wants you to be, ever since we were eligible for it,” White said. “We were very pleased with that.”

White noted that the closings make Starr Motors, located on Pruden Boulevard, the closest Chrysler dealer for miles to the south, west and north. The notice that the company will be allowed to continue selling Chrysler vehicles will allow him to get back to normalcy, he said.

“We’re very relieved that we did get the notice,” he said. “Now you can concentrate a little bit more on business.”

White said he held an employee meeting the day Chrysler filed bankruptcy to let them know that it was “business as usual” at Starr.

“I told employees we were going to keep doing business just as we always had,” he said. “There’s a lot of good people involved here, and we appreciate all of our customers.”

“We hope to keep doing business here for many more years.”