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Denny Hecker closes 6 dealerships, sells 3

The Pioneer Press reported that about a third of the employees at Denny Hecker dealerships will be unemployed as the result of six dealerships closing and three of them being sold. The business owner himself announced Friday the closings are due to the poor economy.

In a written statement Hecker said that he found himself in a " 'perfect storm' of economic bad news" and ticked off a slew of catalysts for the dealership closures and sales, including "a financial crisis on Wall Street, chaos in the housing market, consumer confidence at an all-time low and the sight of the Big 3 on their knees in Washington asking for a bailout loan."

Closed Denny Hecker dealerships include the Blaine Bargain Lot, Forest Lake Chrysler Jeep Dodge Mitsubishi, Monticello Dodge Ford and Mercury Suzuki Kia, Rosedale Hyundai, Shakopee Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Stillwater Ford Lincoln Mercury.

The three dealerships Hecker sold are Inver Grove Heights Hyundai, Inver Grove Heights Volkswagen and Peninsula Dodge in California.

Hecker's remaining dealerships include two Toyota dealerships, three Hyundai dealerships, one Cadillac Pontiac GMC dealership and one Chevrolet dealership. In his statement he also said that his management team would focus on the remaining, higher-performing dealerships while developing a new business model.

The closings of Hecker's dealerships don't come as a shock.

He filed a federal lawsuit this month in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, accusing Chrysler Financial Services of cutting off financing the dealerships use to operate his dealerships, rental-car business and fleet-car sales division.