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Temporary auto sales lot irked dealer

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Last month’s temporary setup of an auto sales lot at the site of a former Ogdensburg dealership by a Rochester-area auto dealer didn’t sit well with a local auto merchant.

Vision Auto Group of Webster sold an undisclosed number of vehicles Sept. 20-29 at the former Dealmaker Ford dealership at routes 68 and 37 in what was purported to be a tryout for a permanent Ogdensburg dealership.

“The event went well and we enjoyed the town and many of its businesses,” said sales director Massimo Castelli in an email on Friday. “I believe the location we were in would make a great import store of some type.”

But Lynn L. Blevins, of Blevins Bros. Inc., Ogdensburg, is doubtful.

“That’s not their business plan,” he said Friday, alleging that Vision Auto Group stages temporary tent sales lots all across the state and moves on.

“They operate a gypsy dealership,” Mr. Blevins said. “They do a road show. They don’t produce jobs for people in the area. They produce jobs for people in Rochester.”

Mr. Castelli disagreed and took the criticism in stride.

“We just completed the purchase of Hastings Buick GMC store as well as Piehler Buick GMC Land Rover Jaguar (both in Rochester) and we are under negotiations with an undisclosed store,” he said “As for Lynn Blevins, competition is healthy for everyone and we offer a tremendous selection of trucks, heavy duty trucks, imports and cars from as low as $2,900 to many one-of-a-kind vehicles. Personally, I never talk negative about a business. I wish them the best and continued success.”

Vision Auto has seven dealerships in the Rochester area. The former Dealmaker property is owned by Alexandria Bay businessman P.J. Simao.

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