All Homer Cutrubus wants to do now is get back to the business of selling Chryslers.
The veteran Utah dealer, who lost his franchise last year after the automaker reorganized its sales network as part of a federal bailout and bankruptcy filing, won his business back this week after an arbitrator overturned Chrysler's decision.
"It's given everyone at that store a nice, warm feeling," Cutrubus said, speaking of the ruling and the effect upon Cutrubus Motors Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealership in Layton. "We all knew we were doing good work, and to have lost the franchise and gotten it back just proves to everyone we were right."
Hinckley Dodge of Ogden wasn't so lucky.
Even though it was one of the oldest Dodge dealerships in the country, the arbitrator backed Chrysler's decision to terminate its franchise.
"Everyone is disappointed," said spokesman Swayne Winterton.
Initially, Hinckley's owners were not optimistic about the arbitration process. But Winterton said once they got into it, they thought they had done a good job of presenting their case.
"Unfortunately, it didn't work out."
Winterton pointed out the Hinckley Dodge Chrysler Jeep store on State Street in Salt Lake City wasn't impacted by the automaker's restructuring. "We're still here and going strong. And we're going to be here for a long, long time."
The former Hinckley Dodge location in Ogden is now concentrating on selling pre-owned vehicles. It was one of 13 dealers nationally who so far have seen the arbitration process go against them.
Cutrubus was one of only two dealers so far to prevail over Chrysler's decision. And he is anticipating that within the next week he will receive a letter of intent from the automaker formally indicating its willingness to once again sign him up.
"I'm sure there is going to be some additional expense involve -- perhaps some new signage that they're going to want," he said. "And there may be a few things we want to do to improve our relationship with customers as well. Whatever needs to be done, we'll do it."
Chrysler spokeswoman Kathy Graham said any new dealers that sign on with Chrysler are being required to carry all four of the company's brands -- Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram trucks. "But those companies that prevail through arbitration will only be required to carry the brands they previously offered."
Cutrubus, though, was a full-line dealer before its franchise was terminated, and will be one again.
In her decision, arbitrator Diane Banks pointed out that Cutrubus' Layton dealership was profitable in 2006 through 2009. It also "showed it was, and continues to be, financially capable of investing in renovations to the facility as previously requested [by the automaker] and consistent with the New [reorganized] Chrysler business plan and the "Millennium" look."
She added that assuming Chrysler allocates desirable vehicles to Cutrubus and offers it a fair opportunity to succeed, the economic interest of the automaker can be served by adding the Utah dealership back into its network.