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Bill Heard Las Vegas Closes Doors


Edward Lawrence, Reporter
Bill Heard's Las Vegas Car Dealerships Close

Updated: Sep 24, 2008 06:05 PM CDT

One of the largest car dealerships in the nation has become the latest casualty of the economy. Bill Heard Enterprises closed all of its dealerships nationwide Wednesday. That includes two in Las Vegas: Bill Heard Chevrolet and Vista Chevrolet in northwest part of the city.

At noon Wednesday, without warning, the general manager walked on to the showroom floor and told employees to lock up. They were closing.

The general manager would not comment on the situation, but the main office in Atlanta, Georgia released a statement. It says Bill Heard closed all 13 of its dealerships across the nation, putting 2,700 people out of work.

Read a statement from Bill Heard Enterprises

The statement blames Chevrolet for offering mostly heavy trucks and sport utility vehicles which guzzle gas. It goes on to say rising gas prices, the bad economy, and crisis in the banking and financial markets pushed the company to close. However, reports out of Tampa and Arizona say GMAC pulled financing to the dealership.

Former employees say they did not get any severance or pay checks. They were just told to leave.

"You are sitting there working and someone tells you we are closing the doors, wrap everything up. It's a shock," said former fleet manager Cliff Toosley. "We heard rumors they were closing. They closed the Scottsdale store about two weeks ago. They told all of us that we were ok -- everything is fine. They gave us the pep talk."

Obviously, it was not ok. Toosley has a mortgage and says he will try to keep a positive attitude. He called some contacts at other dealerships and has a meeting set up for a new job.

The spokesman for the company says they have not made a decision on what to do with the new cars on the lot.

All of the cars in the service department were towed and delivered back to the customers.

People are still showing up to buy cars and try to get service, but they are being turned away.