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OUR VIEW - Empty car lot leaves an empty feeling

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:47 PM

It looks like the sagging automobile industry will cost more Norwalk residents their jobs.

Pat Norris said the Norris Auto Mall in Medina, a dealership in Norwalk and two dealerships in Burbank, Ohio, are all for sale. Though no official number of layoffs has been released, it is estimated 25 to 30 people worked for the Norwalk dealership, which sold Chevrolet, Chrysler, Pontiac, Cadillac, Dodge, GMC, Jeep, Hyundai and Buick vehicles.

Norris told the Plain Dealer he is looking at several options, including the sale of all dealerships, the sale of one or two locations or staying on as part of a partnership.

Though the auto industry is clearly not booming, we hope someone can come in and find a way to preserve the Norwalk dealership and, more importantly, the 25 to 30 people it employs.

While it is bad enough that jobs could be lost, the abrupt end to the dealer's run in Norwalk will leave a bitter taste. The sudden slamming of its doors was a surprise to city leaders, as no one from the company reached out for help. The lot was cleaned out over the weekend and that was that. Now few employees remain, just trying to "tie up loose ends."

Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch said if someone from the company had been upfront with them, the city could have gotten Job and Family Services on the case.

"It's certainly a shame for the community and the employees when they don't get a fair notice," she said.

The best way to remedy the situation would be for another dealer to buy the lot and rehire all the employees. That might be nothing more than a pipe dream. We will all just have to wait and see.

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