Chevy dealer closes

Steve Jacobs

The doors won't open today at Marathon Chevrolet of Summerville.

After a four-year run, the dealership has closed after poor economic conditions cut into the company's car and truck sales. The eight-acre facility, located along the busy North Main Street commercial strip, employed about 40 workers.

"We're closing down because it makes business sense," said owner Steve Jacobs, who added that his other Marathon dealership on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston will remain open.

Jacobs said the decision to close the Summerville store was his, not passed down from General Motors Corp. Earlier this year, GM told 1,100 of its dealers, or roughly one in five, that their franchise agreements would be terminated by the end of 2010 as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The company has not disclosed the names of affected locations. Nine Charleston-area dealers told The Post and Courier that they would remain open.

Marathon Chevrolet's North Charleston location also was not affected by the mandated closures, Jacobs said.

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The Summerville dealership's remaining inventory of roughly 150 vehicles will be moved to the Rivers Avenue lot. Customers of the shuttered location can continue their warranty work at the North Charleston site.

Jacobs opened the Summerville dealership in late 2005. He purchased the site, formerly Michael Chevrolet, from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based United Auto Group.

He picked the Marathon name partly because it was a title that could be adapted to other dealerships in Charleston or in other cities, he said at the time.