Wisconsin Rapids car dealers suffer hundreds of thousands of dol - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin Rapids car dealers suffer hundreds of thousands of dollars in hail damage

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -- The golf ball-sized hail that pounded Wisconsin Rapids in a weekend storm wrecked dozens of cars parked at dealerships.

There were hail stones up to two and a half inches in diameter, and now, two dealerships say they're trying to put their businesses back together.

They say they've had to completely shut down the sales part of their business indefinitely.

"Pretty much every car is unsaleable right now," said L&L Motors owner Shawn Lewis.

It doesn't get much worse for a car dealership.

"There is an extreme damage, that's what we call it," said Dina Miller of Hi Tech Paintless Dent Removal. "It is impossible to fix with a paintless dent removal."

Lewis says about 40 of his vehicles were damaged and 12 windshields broke.

"Financially, it's devastating," he said.

Miller took one look at the cars and said all of their panels would need to be replaced.

Lewis says L&L Motors suffered about $350,000 in damage. The cars are covered by insurance, but there's still deductibles to pay on each one.

The dealership's rental business will continue.

"That's the only part of our business still going right now," Lewis said. "We're on hold with everything."

The dealership will remain closed until the insurance comes back on this damage, but owners are trying to stay optimistic. They're looking ahead to what comes next.

"Some will go to auction and again, it's up to the insurance company if they will total some," said Lewis.

He says they can try to salvage something by selling cars at a steep discount.

"I'm sure some of them we will, the cheaper stuff, but when you get to the higher-end stuff, it's harder to sell them with damage," Lewis said.

As a small business owner, he knows he has to be ready for anything.

"At first, it's tough, but then you move with the punches and try to get it settled and move on," said Lewis.

Insurance company representatives are expected to have the damage assessed by Wednesday.

L&L Motors also had to put their pending deals on hold. Owners say they had at least two sales that now won't go through because the customers don't want the cars anymore.

Workers from dent removal services say they're mostly doing repairs on cars in areas of Wisconsin Rapids where hail damage wasn't so severe.

They say cars at dealerships on 8th Street like L&L Motors and Dick Neuville Buick are beyond repair.
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