A local auto dealership has closed its doors.
Fiore Mitsubishi on Logan Boulevard announced the decision effective Monday, according to a statement issued by owner Jim Fiore.
Fiore's business was one of 789 Chrysler dealers who were affected in the reorganization of Chrysler last year.
In May 2009, Chrysler announced plans to close 53 franchises in Pennsylvania, including Fiore Chrysler Jeep in Altoona, as part of its plan to cut costs and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Fiore also was no longer able to perform warranty work on Chrysler products.
Fiore said at the time his business would remain open, selling Isuzu and Mitsubishi products as well as used vehicles.
However, in the statement issued Monday, Fiore said because of the current economic conditions, he has decided to permanently close the dealership. Thrifty Car Sales at the same location also has closed.
Jim Fiore, who has been in the auto business in Altoona for more than 40 years, said he appreciated the loyalty of his customers.
Meanwhile, the closing of Fiore Mitsubishi will have no impact on other Fiore dealerships on Logan Boulevard.
"Fiore Toyota Scion VW Audi and Fiore Buick GMC and Fiore Auto Outlet have no financial, legal or ownership connection with Fiore Mitsubishi in any way. Both Fiore Toyota Scion VW and Fiore GMC Buick are strong, successful and well capitalized companies and will continue business as usual," Daniel M. Fiore and David A. Fiore said in a joint statement Monday. "We look forward to meeting the auto needs of the customers of central Pennsylvania for many years to come."
Daniel M. Fiore is president of Fiore Toyota Scion VW Audi, while David A. Fiore is president of Fiore Buick GMC. The brothers - who are first cousins of Jim Fiore - are partners in the other three auto businesses.
"We are really saddened at the closing," Daniel M. Fiore said. "It is a sad day for our family."
"I am sure everyone in our family feels for Jim very much," David A. Fiore said.
Jim Fiore became involved in the auto business after the dealership, then known as Fiore Pontiac, was founded in 1970 when his father, Joseph N. Fiore, and uncle Anthony (Chub) Fiore purchased Olson Buick Pontiac, 808 Logan Blvd.
The Pontiac franchise was moved to 5600 Sixth Ave., with Joseph as the dealer. Jim joined his father, and the two were partners until Joseph died in 1992.
Fiore Pontiac expanded its lines by adding Isuzu in 1984, Isuzu commercial trucks in 1986, Mitsubishi in 1989 and GMC light duty trucks in 1991.
The dealership moved to Logan Boulevard in 1993.
In 2005, Jim Fiore acquired the Altoona Chrysler Jeep franchise from D&M Chrysler Jeep.
Fiore auto dealerships have been part of Blair County since 1939 when Joseph N. Fiore started Fiore Motors at Beale Avenue and 24th Street.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.