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Chrysler dealership reopens
Ga. Chrysler takes over site on 301S
Joe and Heidi Davis got their new Georgia Chrysler dealership off the ground Monday. The Davis’ and their employees spent most of the weekend transferring about 150 vehicles from their Georgia Chrysler dealership in Swainsboro.
    Joe Davis is bullish on the auto industry not only in the United States but in Statesboro, too. Davis and his wife Heidi just took over the Chrysler dealership on Highway 301 South and opened for business on Monday as Georgia Chrysler Dodge Jeep.
    “We believe in Statesboro and we believe it’s a strong market,” Joe Davis said. “The area is still growing. You still have to wait to eat at a restaurant on the weekend. We wouldn’t have made the move if we didn’t strongly believe in the long term success of the dealership.”
    The Davis’ and their employees spent most of the weekend transferring about 150 vehicles from their Georgia Chrysler dealership in Swainsboro. Davis purchased the Swainsboro dealership in 2005 and it is now closed.
    “Chrysler is reducing the number of dealer bodies it has and we were offered the chance to take over the Statesboro site,” Davis said. “We’re excited about being here.”
    Georgia Chrysler is on the same site as the old Trapnell Dodge Chrysler Jeep location – 12114 Hwy 301 South. Trapnell closed late last year.
    On Tuesday, Chrysler requested an additional $5 billion from the U.S. Treasury as part of a plan to keep the company solvent. The company received $4 billion last year. Chrysler said it will cut 3,000 more jobs and stop producing three vehicle models – the Dodge Aspen, Durango and Chrysler PT Cruiser.
    Davis, however, remains optimistic about Chrysler’s future.
    “It’s always a possibility that any company could close,” Davis said. “I tell my customers I don’t think a company as large as Chrysler is going away. Chrysler is going to get its expenses and work force in line. Some tough decisions will be made, but I believe Chrysler will be a better and stronger company.”
    Davis said he and his wife have studied the Statesboro market carefully.
    “There are 250,000 people in the immediate market,” Joe Davis said. “At any point, about 2 percent of the population are actively looking for cars. That’s about 5,000 potential customers out there every day. We will do our best to make them our customers.”
    Prior to coming to Swainsboro, Joe Davis worked at an Atlanta Chrysler dealership for 12 years. He attended Georgia Southern and is a Savannah native. Heidi Davis is a Statesboro native and a graduate of Statesboro High. They have an 8-year-old son, Colin, in the second grade at Bulloch Academy.
    “We feel like we’re home,” Heidi Davis said. “We know it will be a challenge – an exciting challenge.”
    Her husband agreed.
    “2009 is going to be tough,” Joe Davis said. “But I believe in keeping a lot full of cars and maintaining good access to credit for my customers. When things settle out, there’s going to be a lot of pent up demand and I think we’ll be in a good position to take advantage of that.”
    For more information about the dealership, go to its Web site:
    James Healy can be reached at (912) 489-9402.
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