Lexington's Thoroughbred Chevrolet closed Thursday.
The dealership, on Richmond Road between New Circle Road and Man o' War Boulevard, had about 40 employees, said president Blake Lintelman.
The site was home to a Chevrolet dealership for almost 40 years. The dealership was known as Conrad Chevrolet until 1996, when it was sold and renamed Thoroughbred.
General Motors informed 2,000 of its dealerships last year that it would not be renewing their franchise agreements beginning in October 2010. GM made the consolidation move because it considered its dealership network to be too large, which led them to compete with one another and give shoppers too much leverage to talk down prices and hurt future sales.
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More than 660 of the affected dealerships had that decision reversed as part of an appeals process.
Lintelman said his dealership appealed but was not successful.
"We searched for additional franchises, both import and domestic, and at this time, we could not open up a new franchise," he said.
He also said the dealership did not have enough used-car sales volume to allow it to continue to operate only as a used-car dealership.
"Unfortunately, operating costs are very expensive," he said. "We've kept it open as long as we thought we were able to do that."
The dealership, which included service, parts and body shop departments, is being put up for sale. Lintelman emphasized, though, that the company will continue to look for different automotive franchises and hopes to reopen.
Jack Kain, state director of the National Automobile Dealers Association, said he was disappointed that GM's actions led to Thoroughbred's closing, leaving Rod Hatfield Chevrolet as Lexington's only provider of that brand.
"I know Lexington needs two dealers, and I think the dealer is the one who should make the decision to stay in business or not," Kain said. "I think a lot of times the manufacturer doesn't understand the ripple effects it has on our communities."