A deal has been struck to return a full-line Chrysler dealership to Lawrence after the automaker’s bankruptcy caused it to pull out of the city in 2009.
Officials with Manhattan-based Briggs Auto Group said they have finalized a deal to operate a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership at the former Jim Clark Motors site near 29th and Iowa streets.
“We have finally crossed that elusive finish line,” said Eric Giroux, marketing director for BriggsAuto.com. “It is something we’ve been trying to do ever since we came to Lawrence.”
Giroux said new Chrysler products should begin arriving on the lot early next week. The location also immediately becomes a certified service center for Chrysler products.
“We know it has been a frustration for people who have a vehicle under warranty that they’ve had to drive 30 or 40 minutes to get it serviced,” Giroux said. “Now that service is available locally.”
Lawrence lost its Chrysler dealership in 2009 after the automaker declared bankruptcy. Briggs, which also has the Nissan and Subaru dealerships in Lawrence, bought the Jim Clark Motors location in September.
Briggs officials at that time said they were optimistic that Chrysler could be persuaded to return to the Lawrence market.
Giroux said the dealership would be hiring for new sales, service and management positions to handle the expected increase in business. Giroux declined to estimate how many jobs the dealership may require.
“It definitely will be more than a couple, though,” he said.
He said a significant renovation of the car lot’s show rooms also is being planned. That will be in addition to a major project already in the works for the company’s Subaru dealership. Briggs previously confirmed to the Journal-World that it will take over the location occupied by Enterprise Rent-a-Car, which is just west of the Chrysler dealership. Briggs will add onto that building to serve as its new Subaru dealership. Enterprise is moving to another location in the Auto Plaza area.