Middletown's largest automobile dealership closed its doors this week after seven years in business.
Willis Automotive, on Summit Bridge Road, informed its employees on Wednesday that it would be consolidating its used car dealership and service department at the two Willis dealerships in Smyrna.
All of the inventory at the Middletown location also was moved to Smyrna on Wednesday.
By Friday, the doors to the showroom were locked, the main sign on the building had been removed and the lot was empty.
"We have a new Ford store in Smyrna and we're currently renovating our General Motors store there, so we felt we would be able to better serve the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend population at those locations," said Isaac Willis, the vice president of Willis Chevrolet Buick. "We look forward to serving our current and new customers at our new and remodeled stores."
At least 15 employees are listed on the Middletown dealership's website, which makes no reference to the closure. Willis said a majority of those employees were transferred to the Smyrna locations, including Willis Ford at 15 N. Dupont Highway and Willis Chevrolet Buick at 2707 S. Dupont Blvd.
Willis Automotive first opened as a new car dealer in 2006. However, it was one of the 1,350 General Motors dealerships that the Detroit-based automaker closed after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. Since then, the Middletown location has sold used cars.
Prior to Willis Automotive, the dealership at 5221 Summit Bridge Road was owned by NuCar Middletown, which is still listed as the owner of the 1-acre property.
Officials with the NuCar chain could not be reached Friday, and it remains unclear what plans the company has for the land, which has been used as an automobile dealership since at least the 1950s.