Dealership’s unexpected closure leaves residents disappointed
Mar 01, 2013 06:25AM ● Published by Anonymous
After more than three decades of business, Bob Maguire Chevrolet, a longtime fixture in the Bordentown community, has closed its doors.
Customers who called the dealership’s number were greeted with a recorded message, directing them to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
“We would like thank all our loyal customers and vendors for 36 years of business, and we were proud to be a member of the Bordentown and surrounding community,” the phone message said.
The closure, effective as of Jan. 24, was quite unexpected to the community.
Bordentown Township mayor Jim Cann said he had only been recently aware of interest from another group in taking over the site.
Ralph Matarese, who had bought a car from Maguire Chevrolet, was not aware of the closure until he brought his car in for a service appointment on Jan. 24. With no contact from the dealership, he was forced to bring his car elsewhere for service.
Many customers posted on the dealership’s Facebook page—which was updated on Jan. 24 with an announcement of the closure—expressing a mixture of disappointment and confusion. Several people cited their longstanding relationships with the dealership, a place where many community members had bought their first cars many years ago. Other customers, like Matarese, expressed uncertainty over appointments, pre-paid parts and store credit.
Yet, the legacy of the dealership extends to beyond just its customers.
“It’s been a staple in the community for as long of a time as I can remember,” said Bordentown City deputy mayor Heather Cheesman, who despite never having bought a car from the dealership, commented on the Facebook page expressing her disappointment at the loss.
Marcy Maguire, president of Maguire Auto Group, did not respond to a request for comment.
“They were a very good business neighbor in this community and it’s a big loss,” Cann said. “We’re very sad to see them go.”
Maguire Chevrolet, a family owned and operated dealership, first opened its doors in 1976. The dealership was a part of the Maguire Automotive Group, which also includes Windsor Nissan in East Windsor. The Auto Group was one of the first to sell General Motor’s Saturn line when it was launched in 1985.
The Auto Group had suffered from the flagging car industry in the recent years, most notably with General Motor’s closure of the Saturn brand, which forced the Auto Group to close its Saturn dealerships in Bordentown and Toms River in early 2010. In February 2010, Maguire Chevrolet relocated from its former location on Route 206 to its current location on Route 130, the former site of its Saturn of Bordentown dealership. It continued to service Saturn Vehicles through Bob Maguire Chevrolet, which was a Saturn Authorized Saturn Provider, until its recent closure.
“Any time you lose a business hurts,” Cann said. “It’s not good, especially not for a major highway to be vacant or appear to be vacant, so clearly it hurts the township, and we’re going to, as actively as we can, hope to get that filled with another business or another dealership.”