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Arbitration update: Chrysler 3, Dealers 1

by Bill Cawthon on

Deland Dodge of Deland, Florida became the first dealer to win reinstatement of its franchise after appealing to an independent arbitrator. Deland was one of the 789 dealers terminated by Chrysler during its bankruptcy last year. Based on the decision from arbitrator Amy Dean, a retired Florida state judge, Chrysler now has seven days to issue a letter of intent to the dealership.

Bob Taylor Jeep of Naples, Florida and Venice Dodge of Venice, Florida, joined Cincinnati, Ohio dealer Joe Kidd Dodge in the loser’s column, bringing total Chrysler victories to three. Joe Kidd was turned down last week.

The three Florida cases were the first where the former dealers used an attorney for representation. Michael Ornstein of Orlando represented all three dealerships.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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