Florida car retailer files for bankruptcy, fires 466 employees

Nearly 500 employees, including 111 in Orlando, were laid off last week by a Florida car reseller company that has filed for bankruptcy and closed up shop.

Off Lease Only, LLC, made the announcement last week in multiple filings made through the Florida Department of Commerce Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices.

“Off Lease Only LLC plans to permanently close its business operations because it is currently experiencing unforeseeable financial difficulties,” reads the filing.

According to the retailer, “unprecedented changes to the automotive retail landscape over the last few years” have resulted in significant challenges and “competitive pressures” for used vehicle dealerships.

The company says it has been “significantly impacted by the scarcity of inventory and inflated prices” stemming from disruptions in the supply chain.

“Elevated pricing and rising interest rates have further deteriorated conditions in the automotive retail market, weakening consumer demand and affordability,” reads the notice.

Off Lease Only LLC says that it had been engaged in ongoing discussions with lenders and equity investors “in an effort to ensure a stable source of working capital sufficient to sustain day-to-day operations,” according to the filing. The company says it had “ever expectation” that it would be able to maintain operations, and that it “actively pursued a buyer for some or all of” their assets.

“Unfortunately, in a completely unforeseen and unforeseeable turn of events, the sale of the company’s assets has fallen through and there are no other additional financing options available to fund the ordinary course operations of the company for all locations,” reads the filing.

All of the company’s 466 employees were terminated effective Thursday, September 7, 2023.

In addition to the 111 employees laid off in Orlando, 163 employees from the company’s location in West Palm Beach, 68 from its location in North Lauderdale, 49 from its location in Bradenton, and 75 from its location in Opa Locka.

The jobs cover a variety of positions, ranging from sales associates to mechanics and security guards.

Founded in 2004 by Mark and Eileen Fischer, the company provided a distinct car-buying experience separate from most car retailers.

Instead of walking a lot with a car salesman and sitting down to negotiate a purchase, Off Lease Only used a model that allowed visitors to peruse their inventory, test drive vehicles, and obtain financing without little to minimal interaction with a salesman.

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