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Bill Heard Enterprises closes its doors

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Scottsdale, AZ., Sept. 24, 2008 - According to Automotive News' Chrissie Thompson, Bill Heard Enterprises, the country's top Chevrolet dealer group, is closing the doors at all of its 13 dealerships at the end of business today, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The company notified the stores' general managers at 2 p.m. today, the source said, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak.

High fuel prices, cancelled floorplanning from GMAC Financial Services, a reliance on trucks and SUVs, a soft national economy and struggles in local markets had troubled the company, which on Sept. 12 closed its store in Scottsdale, Ariz.

In the end, the company could not raise operating capital and could not finance its floorplan, the source said. Company officials have discussed closing the company since Friday, the source said.

Bill Heard Enterprises, of Columbus, Ga., ranks No. 13 on the Automotive News list of the top 125 U.S. dealership groups, with 2007 group revenue of $2.13 billion.