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Roger Miller Dealerships in Chapter 11 : Bankruptcy: The Honda and Mitsubishi outlets in Huntington Beach will continue to sell cars during 90-day reorganization.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Blaming sluggish car sales and the stagnant Southern California economy, the parent company of Roger Miller Honda and Roger Miller Mitsubishi has entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

“We just got caught in these economic times,” said Bill Van Den Hurk, the car dealerships’ general manager. “Our location is great, and I believe Honda has come back stronger than ever.”

In a bankruptcy filing Friday by parent company S&R; Auto Sales Inc., the Honda and Mitsubishi dealerships--operated in adjacent locations on Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach--listed $5.5 million in assets and $4.9 million in debts. Company officials would not give specifics on its bankruptcy filing or identify its major creditors.

The company said it will continue to sell cars while it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection and expects to emerge from bankruptcy in 90 days, Van Den Hurk said, adding the company has about 150 cars on the two lots.

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The filing will not impact operations at Roger Miller Ford, which has a large dealership in the city of Orange, and is operated under a separate corporation, said Van Den Hurk.

“It’s a sign of the economy as it relates to automobile sales,” said Kevin Allen, executive director of the Orange County Automobile Dealers Assn., a 94-member industry trade group. “But I haven’t heard of any other Honda dealers specifically having trouble. I’m a little surprised.”

Roger Miller is a longtime member of the association’s board of directors.

New car and truck sales in California for the month of July totaled 132,679 as compared to 138,235 sold during July, 1992, according to J.D. Power & Associates, an automobile marketing information firm.

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“There is some consolidation going on in the industry. Even some prominent dealers,” said John Rettie, editor of the California Report on Automotive marketing newsletter. “There are slight signs that business is picking up, but California car sales are lagging behind the country as a whole.” Sales of new Hondas are down about 7% this year in California, although August showed some increase in sales, said Rettie.


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