Lexington Chrysler dealers applaud company's bankruptcy announcement

Area Chrysler dealers applauded the company's bankruptcy declaration Thursday, saying they expect it to be a speedy process that will see the company emerge stronger.

Paul Cleaver, president of Freedom Dodge in Lexington and a Chrysler dealer for 20 years, said he was initially worried Thursday morning when he woke up and saw headlines about a bankruptcy.

"I think the president and his administration put some of those fears to rest, and I think everything's going to be OK," Cleaver said.

Ron McCauley, owner of Chrysler on Nicholasville near Brannon Crossing, emphasized that "it's time to regroup and reorganize."

"What better time to do it than now when the economy is starting to pick up?" he said, adding that he doesn't expect it to significantly reduce interest in Chrysler vehicles.

"Nobody's beating the doors down at any dealership right now, and I don't think this will hurt the traffic flow that much," he said.

Overall, Cleaver emphasized, it will be business as usual.

"Some of the bondholders and creditors are going to take some pretty good losses, but all in all, I think the public is just going to see us doing business as normal," he said.