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Longtime car retailer closes on west side

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A longtime fixture along West Washington Street, near Indianapolis International Airport, has driven off into the sunset.

National Car Sales, for years known for its commercials featuring basketball coach Bobby “Slick” Leonard, closed last week after more than 20 years in the market.

The closure resulted from the sale in August of Indianapolis parent Arelco Inc. to Enterprise Holdings Inc. Enterprise, owned by the Taylor family of St. Louis, operates rental car companies Enterprise, Alamo and National.

Arelco retained, at least for now, Execucar Leasing, along with National Remarketing, a wholesaler of rental cars.

Enterprise acquired Arelco’s 4,300 vehicles, 31 Alamo and National rental locations in nine states, and Arelco’s headquarters and car sales and service division at 7111 W. Washington St.

 Arelco had about 400 employees. An Enterprise spokeswoman did not respond to questions about how many Arelco employees were rehired.

Initially, Enterprise said it would operate Arelco divisions “in substantially the same form” after the sale. However, last month it announced it would close National Car Sales, which is one block east of the still-shuttered former ATA Airlines headquarters.

Arelco’s former head of rental operations, Kim Smith, was retained by Enterprise Holdings to oversee Enterprise, Alamo and National brands at Indianapolis International.

Enterprise Holdings did not respond to questions about its plans for the Washington Street property.  It formerly operated an Enterprise Car Sales store just down the street from National Car Sales. Enterprise Car Sales has a remaining Indianapolis store on Pendleton Pike, near Interstate 465.

Enterprise Holdings has snapped up 25 other rental car franchises around the country since buying Alamo and National brands in 2007.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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