Strauss Auto Manager Says Closure A Shock, Company Remains Tight-Lipped
Executives and lawyers for Strauss Discount Auto are tight-lipped about a number of issues surrounding the abrupt closure of their locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & New York as former employees come back on their own time to pick up the pieces of a broken business.
"We had a normal business day Monday," says Eric Walz service manager of the Strauss Auto in Middletown.
Walz says he received a call around 6 a.m. Tuesday from a district manager telling him that there were developments overnight and that the entire chain was shut down effective immediately and that his employment was terminated.
He says some of his fellow employees, "found out when they saw the sign on the door."
GETTING CARS BACK TO THEIR OWNERS
"All the cars were locked in the shop, being serviced, some of the cars had work-in-progress and they were all apart," Walz says. "So now we have the cars in progress and no one there to put them back together."
Walz, an 18-year employee of the company was terminated with no severance pay.
"I went in today, just to help our customers out," Walz says. He says he worked on the cars in the shop and returned them to their owners.
While he was at the store, he says customers were still calling asking for prices and service quotes because they didn't know about the shutdown.
The only information being offered by Strauss Auto is a toll-free number (800-787-4554) posted on the door of their stores and on their now one-page website. Phone calls placed by Townsquare to the customer service line, attorneys and the management of SDA, Inc of South River have so far not been returned.
Parent company SDA Incorporated filed a 15-page Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Tuesday night with the Newark Bankruptcy Court according to a clerk.
Strauss Auto has not said if it plans to stay open. According to its filing, the warm winter weather and high fuel costs combined to make customers put off repairs.
Have you been affected by the closure of Strauss Discount Auto as an employee or customer? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Leanne Vuksanic contributed to this report.