LAYTON -- Two dealerships are showing that the auto industry can still succeed, at least on a local level.
Cutrubus is celebrating the grand opening of its Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership today, while Young Buick GMC is busy remodeling its showroom. Both dealerships are on Main Street and are an important part of the business community.
"A lot of very smart economists say the auto industry is going to help lead the county out of the recession," said Ben Hart, Layton's economic development specialist. "We are seeing that on a local level. And the fact that people are wanting to reinvest in their businesses right now says a lot about how the economy is improving."
For Homer Cutrubus, combining its two Layton dealerships is not the only exciting part of today's celebration. Cutrubus was one of the 789 nationwide dealerships that Chrysler Corporation announced would be closing in 2009 when the company declared bankruptcy. But after a long fight, Cutrubus won the dealership back.
"Of course the arbitration was a vindication of what we were," said Cutrubus, who started the family business with his brother, Phidia. "We were a five-star dealer before and it was hard to understand why we got the rejection in the first place. But they found in our favor."
After winning the arbitration, Cutrubus said he received a letter of intent from Chrysler that had a list of conditions that Cutrubus had to meet. So Cutrubus remodeled the whole store at 1234 N. Main St., including bringing in a new service floor and a different look to the front that Chrysler wanted.
Cutrubus is also bringing its Dodge dealership under the same roof.
"The whole concept under one roof makes it more convenient and more customer friendly," Cutrubus said. "A lot of Dodge truck owners buy Chrysler cars so when they bring their truck in, or car in, they can be accustomed to the store and talk with the same people."
Young Buick GMC is in a similar position. The dealership also used to be a Cadillac and Pontiac dealer. However, General Motors took Cadillac away from the dealership in 2009 and discontinued the Pontiac brand in 2010.
Heston Young, a salesman at Young Buick GMC, said the dealership was fine with losing Cadillacs as long as they could start selling Buicks.
But to sell Buicks, they had to make upgrades.
"We have to make the showroom look something like what Buick is around the country," Young said. "Had we not taken on Buick and rebutted the letter and kept Cadillac, we probably would not have been changing anything."
Young Buick GMC at 570 N. Main St. is across the street from Young Chevrolet. The construction started two weeks ago, and Young said the work will be a six-month project.
"This is going to be a small project, so our customers should not feel the effects of it," Young said. "We're extending a couple things here and there. Really, the construction is out of the way of the customers."
Hart said that by making these improvements, both the Cutrubus and Young dealerships are showing that they are confident in their businesses. That confidence, he said, is a good sign in Layton.
"These are also two families and business owners who have been in the community for a long time," Hart said. "We're certainly grateful they're here and enhancing their presence. With where the auto industry has been in last three or four years, it's really encouraging to see auto dealerships reinvest in themselves."