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.


  • 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.
    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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    1. The free market will seek its own level. If Employers cannot hire a retain good employees in Marion Co they will leave and set up shop in adjacent county. Marion Co already suffers from businesses leaving I would think this would encourage more of the same.

    2. We gotta stop this Senior crime. Perhaps long jail terms for these old boozers is in order. There are times these days (more rather than less) when this state makes me sick.

    3. One option is to redistribute the payroll tax already collected by the State. A greater share could be allocated to the county of the workplace location as opposed to the county of residency. Not a new tax, just re-allocate what is currently collected.

    4. Have to agree with Mal Burgess. The biggest problem is massive family breakdown in these neighborhoods. While there are a lot of similiarities, there is a MASSIVE difference between 46218 and 46219. 46219 is diluted by some stable areas, and that's probably where the officers live. Incentivizing is fine, but don't criticize officers for choosing not to live in these neighbor hoods. They have to have a break from what is arguably one of the highest stress job in the land. And you'll have to give me hard evidence that putting officers there is going to make a significant difference. Solid family units, responsible fathers, siblings with the same fathers, engaged parents, commitment to education, respect for the rule of law and the importance of work/a job. If the families and the schools (and society) will support these, THEN we can make a difference.

    5. @Agreed, when you dine in Marion County, the taxes paid on that meal go to state coffers (in the form of the normal sales taxes) and to the sports/entertainment venues operated by the CIB. The sales taxes on your clothing and supplies just go to the state. The ONLY way those purchases help out Indianapolis is through the payroll taxes paid by the (generally low-wage) hourly workers serving you.