Used car lot sparks questions from other dealerships

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 25, 2004

CANNONSBURG, Ky. - Some local automotive dealership owners are concerned about a used vehicle dealership called Superstore that set up shop here

The operation held a sale in February on the Cedar Knoll Galleria's front parking lot, but their license states that vehicles should be put in back of the mall lot.

An administrative citation was issued by the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Commission for that incident and a Frankfort, Ky., hearing is scheduled May 13, according to the commission's executive director Dave Garnett.

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Superstore is currently conducting another sale touted as a 5-day "inventory disposal to the general public" which began April 21. Vehicles were displayed in the mall's front lot Wednesday and Thursday, in violation of their licensing restriction.

"They are licensed to be in the back of the building and not where they are located right now," said Ken Blanton, owner of Boyd County Ford. "They have no service department. They are open a couple of days a week and that's very wrong."

A complaint Thursday led the commission to send an inspector to investigate the situation. A report will be available Monday regarding any possible violations.

"If they put the cars on the back portion of the lot behind the building, they are perfectly legal," Garnett said.

Another concern is the superstore's most recent advertisement that read,

"There will be over $5 million worth of cars, trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles offered to the public…"

The ad continued that 300 quality, pre-owned vehicles would be available. Less than 100 vehicles were displayed Wednesday and Thursday.

"That (advertisement) itself could be a possible violation. I have not seen the ad yet, but if they did not conform to the description of the ad, that's false or misleading advertising," Garnett said.

The dealership advertisement did not provide a phone number and the name was provided in fine print at the bottom of the page read, "Event sponsored by Superstore."

Jean Hamilton, owner of Hamilton Chevrolet Inc. of Proctorville, said she thought any dealership that does not provide a permanent address or telephone number on an ad would make her wonder if they would be there tomorrow.

"Any ad that sounds too good to be true usually is," she said.

"Competition is part of the business life, but it appears that this dealership is not operating the way it's supposed to," Garnett said, "They do have a license in Ashland, but they should have a permanent presence like other dealers."

According to Garnett, several corporations and private individuals have business interests in Superstore, including the owner and a former manager at a large Lexington dealership, Toyota on Nicholasville.

The superstore at the mall has also been reported as Central Kentucky Used Car Superstore and Superstore Used Cars.

A man who works at the operation, who identified himself as Jerry Jones, would not comment.

"If you're not here to buy a car you need to go away," he said.

An on-site salesman said the business "is a local dealership."

Management at Toyota on Nicholasville could not be reached.