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Tutwiler auto dealership closes after 48 years

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Tutwiler Automotive, a car dealer that got its start in Indianapolis in 1964, has closed shop two years after losing its ability to sell new Cadillacs.

The dealership, located near 101st and Meridian streets, had long been known as Tutwiler Cadillac before changing its name in late 2010 when General Motors refused to renew its franchise agreement.

The dealership closed Saturday. About three-dozen used vehicles remained on the lot Monday. Phone calls to the business go unanswered.

It’s unclear whether Tutwiler owns the property north of Interstate 465 or what it plans to do with the land.

Mart Tutwiler of Carmel owns the dealership that his father, Ed, started after moving to Indianapolis from Charleston, W.V., nearly five decades ago.

Mart’s son Ed, the general manager at Tutwiler, did not return a phone calls from IBJ seeking comment.

Tutwiler was one of dozens of dealerships in Indiana and hundreds nationwide whose franchises GM discontinued in July 2009 after the company filed for bankruptcy.

Tutwiler fought to keep its franchise with GM but lost in arbitration in the summer of 2010.

Lockhart Cadillac, the lone remaining Cadillac dealer in the Indianapolis area, sells vehicles from its locations on 126th Street in Fishers and U.S. 31 in Greenwood.

In addition to selling used cars, Tutwiler sold parts and performed non-warranty service work after losing its franchise.

Nationwide, 1,233 GM franchise agreements were terminated in 2010.

In Indiana, the number of new-car dealerships in the past five years has dropped 18 percent, to 429, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.

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  • Just purchased a car there last week
    I just purchased a used Cadillac there last week. I was very happy with my out the door price. They are still selling cars
  • Yep
    Agree with most of the posts here. All of us - including Tutwiler - would be better off now if Obama and his Marxist fellow travelers had simply let GM go out of business.
  • who'd buy....
    ...a poorly designed, engineered and built Cadillac when you can get a top of the line Honda Accord with all the bells/ whistles for half the price of an ugly Cadillac CTS, and the Honda is made in Ohio with Indiana parts! Srsly I can't even imagine buying a Cadillac even if I was an old man wearing white belt and shoes
  • Moving on...
    As someone who lives in this vicinity, what is Indianapolis/Carmel going to do with this property in such a prime location? Let's hope it doesn't just sit there and mother nature takes over.
  • never made sense
    I am not sure why the Barak Obama/new GM Co decided to retract longstanding retail outlets for their products at a time the company was floundering. Most of these dealers purchased the cars on their lot thru lending plans - and I would think the the more sales outlets the better the chances of GM to compete with their competitors. It's not like GM had anything to lose keeping these guys on board.
  • Bush Era policies might be to blame
    I'm not sure...but if I'm correct GM was going down LONG BEFORE Obama came into office...What about cleaning up their act during the Bush 1 and Clinto and Bush 2 ERA??? Its not like OOHH Obama came into office and ALL OF THE SUDDEN GM went downhill...that's like blaming you for Indiana's failing school system!!!
  • Capitalism
    If all of those dealerships were selling enough cars GM would have kept them open. They let dealerships proliferate in the 90's and early 2000's to a point where they were cannibalizing themselves. Chrysler did the same thing. Family owned businesses that believe they will always have descendents that can lead business through ever changing economic and competitive environments, are not long for this world. At some point the son or niece will not have the capability and they will need to go to the outside for the right skills. The strong will survive.
  • AMERICAN DREAM
    Yeah...the socialst appointed one also caused 100s of suppliers to close from the GM bailout and lost millions. Now Forbes is projecting that GM may file bankrupcy in 2013. Wonder why we hate liberals? Because they've owned a business. All they know is the first 3 pages of how to run a business 101.
  • Obama's Planned Economy
    Thousands of workers were thrown out of work when Obama nationalized GM, gave it to the unions, then forced non-politically (non-minority) connected dealers to close.

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