A major player in the used car industry abruptly closed its doors after filing for bankruptcy on Thursday.
Former off-lease-only employees said they were fired without warning on Wednesday.
Off Lease Only had five locations in Florida, including one in Opa-Locka and one in North Lauderdale. On Thursday afternoon, the gate was locked and the parking lot was almost empty. Few people were seen picking up some of the remaining vehicles as the company worked to close its store.
in one Press release On Thursday, Off Lease Only announced that it had filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
“The industry has been impacted by inventory shortages and an increase in vehicle prices due to supply chain disruptions and multi-year declines in new vehicle production,” the release said.
The company also blamed higher prices and skyrocketing interest rates for the lack of affordability that made it harder for consumers to buy used cars.
Accordingly Consumer ReportsIn the wake of the pandemic, global supply chains were hit by microchip shortages and other disruptions. Some believe the closure of Off Lease Only could signal a larger problem for the used car industry.
Just this year, Off Lease Only expanded into Texas and claimed to be one of the largest car dealerships in the Houston area.
NBC6 spoke off-camera with some former employees who said they were fired Wednesday. One of them said they received a severance package.
The dealership’s closure came as a surprise to many, including customers who voiced their concerns on the company’s Instagram page.
A sign on the front door of the dealership displayed the same message as the dealership website that it is closed to the public and they apologize for any inconvenience caused.
NBC6 reached out to the PR firm that supports Off Lease Only and asked what recourse customers have if, for example, they purchased a warranty or their temporary tag is about to expire. Someone contacted us and said they were working to get this information. Meanwhile, the company told customers that if they have any questions, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.