Braeger and Salentine get franchises restored

Braeger Chrysler Jeep recently became the largest Wisconsin Chrysler dealer to win an arbitration case contesting the auto manufacturer’s decision to close hundreds of new car dealers as part of a  2009 restructuring plan.
“This decision restores one of the best Chrysler operations in the state of Wisconsin,” said Todd Reardon, president and chief executive officer of Braeger Automotive Group. “Our customers and neighbors have been anxious for us to return to provide them with the same high quality sales and service they enjoyed for over 22 years.”
In addition, the E.J. Salentine Buick dealership recently found out that its franchise is being restored. Salentine has been selling used cars for the last year. It was one of thousands of dealerships that had lost their General Motors franchise while the auto maker restructured last year.
Reardon did not have a date he expected to reopen the Braeger Chrysler Jeep dealership on south 27th Street on Milwaukee’s south side, but said he called his Chrysler representative immediately asking for an entire inventory of factory new cars.
“The criteria set by the government which allowed us to prevail in this case were very specific and rigorous,” said Reardon. “We were the largest Chrysler dealer in Wisconsin with an outstanding reputation, significant market share and strong balance sheet. This award corrects the wrongful termination of one of Wisconsin’s strongest Chrysler Jeep dealers.”
Braeger Chysler Jeep was forced by the auto manufacturer to give up its dealership in 2009. The former facility at 6133 South 27th is now the site of Breager Tri-City Mitsubishi. Reardon said he is contemplating reopening at the old location and moving the Mitsubishi dealership.
“Chrysler Jeep has always been a strong brand on Milwaukee’s south side with a very loyal customer base,” said Reardon. “We’re anxious to return that luster to the brand with strong customer service, competitive pricing and exceptional auto repair service.
Braeger Chyrsler Jeep is one of only a few dozen cases in the country where the dealer has prevailed over the auto manufacturer. Since Chrysler’s reorganization, 418 arbitration cases have been filed, of which 125 were dismissed. In 73 decisions Chrysler prevailed, and to date less than 60 former Chrysler dealers have won.
“We knew our case was strong,” said Reardon. “Our reputation, sales strength and business operations were top of the line. I’m now looking forwarding to turning the Braeger Chrysler Jeep sign on again. It’s just like two best friends reuniting.”

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