Three Used Car Lots Shuttered This Year

If you are looking for a used car in Delaware, Ohio, your options have been reduced by one as Central Truck & Auto has closed its doors.

notice of closure on a closed used car lot.
A sign posted at Central Avenue Truck & Car Sales highlights that the location has closed its doors. (Toby Boyce

Central Truck & Auto joins Delaware Automotive and Starfleet to have closed its doors during the first half of 2024. It leaves buyers with three smaller options to choose from in Delaware – Laymond Automotive, KB Motor Werks, and Freddy’s Big Lot – along with the new car dealerships at Performance, Byers, and Chesrown.

“A lot of the dealerships deserve what they are getting,” Lucky Lopez said in Automotive Life‘s February episode. “They learned a lot of bad practices. If I buy a car I want to sell it in 30-65 days and keep no car longer than 90 days. Each month the book value of that car is decreasing. But during the past few years, dealers were taught to pay more for cars at the auction because they couldn’t replace them. And now that the market is slowing down it’s biting them.”

Forbes cited a Cox Automotive forecast for 2024 to highlight that a return to normalcy in the used-car market is spelling big trouble for most dealerships. Some of the challenges Cox Automotive cites include:

  • Slow economic growth and high interest rates
  • Increased vehicle supply and downward pressure on prices
  • Shifts in the market, from sellers to buyers
  • Growth in the used and new electric vehicle (EV) market
  • Changing consumer preferences and online buying trends

But in reality, the reason for the closure boils down to not being prepared when the market moved from a seller to buyer focus. The prices on the lot were “non-negotiable” but were not reasonable when compared to where bigger dealerships were pricing the cars. Why they didn’t match the prices is irrelevant.

Where Can I Get a Used Car in Delaware, Ohio?

There are still three (I think) independent used car dealerships in Delaware, Ohio.

The empty Central Avenue lot.
  • Freddy’s Big Lot, 3040 US 23 North, Delaware, Ohio.
  • Layman Automotive, 201 East William Street, Delaware, Ohio.
  • MB Motorwerks, 481 London Road, Delaware, Ohio. This is the “I think” from the comment above. While searching for a used car recently, I stopped by here several times during open hours to find no one there. Several calls went unreturned. I think they are still in business.

In addition to the independent shops five branded dealerships sell used cars, including:

Who Should I Call to Buy a Car?

As most of you know, my beloved Chevy Colorado was totaled on May 11. So I spent about a month hardcore searching for a new vehicle. I went to dealerships from Mansfield to Grove City and Newark to Bellefontaine. I found a handful of sales people that I am confident to share their names with you.

Tim Hartnett

Chesrown Chevy

1701 Columbus Pike

Delaware, Ohio

(740) 363-1175

(419) 651-3899 (mobile phone)

Ben Weaver

Nissan North

8645 North High Street

Columbus, Ohio

(614) 846-8100

Good luck in your car search and if you work in auto sales or own a dealership … here is to surviving 2024.