5 Turlock auto dealerships calling it quits

TURLOCK -- Five car dealerships in Modesto, Calif.'s Turlock Auto Plaza will close, sell the last of their inventory and lay off 42 employees during the next three weeks.

Turlock Chrysler, Turlock Dodge, Turlock Jeep, Turlock Subaru and the Turlock Auto Plaza Pre-Owned Center will close for good, becoming the recession's latest victims.

"We've had everything go against us this year, and it's just too much," said Bob Field, who co-owns the dealerships with Leonard Harrington. "We just got too many nails into the coffin."

Those nails started last year with the region's housing crisis, continued this spring with soaring gasoline prices and ended with this fall's financing crunch.

A couple of years ago, the dealerships were selling more than 200 vehicles combined per month. That dwindled to about 120 a month this summer. Harrington said this fall they've been selling about 50 cars per month.

"I've been in this business 27 years, and there's never been a time like this when everything went bad all at once," Harrington said. "We just can't keep going."

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