Scott Davis is in the process of selling his Oyster Bay Dodge dealership to Westbury Jeep. Like Robbie Hallock, who closed Hallock Chevrolet in December, he cited the business climate in Oyster Bay as the reason. "Conditions in Oyster Bay have changed. It was never a perfect location but it became much more difficult to operate," he said.
"We've worked very hard to cater to a very dedicated clientele. We have very dedicated customers. There's a letter on my desk from a woman."
He read the letter in which the woman said she was still in shock after hearing he was closing and she wanted to express her sadness. "I feel your pain and feel sorry for all your workers. With your leadership and honesty you will be missed."
A Locust Valley resident told this reporter that he too was sorry the Dodge dealership was closing. "They were good guys. They were one of the old-fashioned neighborhood dealers that service a small area. They are all disappearing."
At the dealership on Thursday, one of the Oyster Bay Dodge employees answered the phone. When asked about the changes, he said, "I don't have a job. I'm cleaning up my stuff. A lot of guys went to Westbury (Jeep)."
The deal between Mr. Davis and his Dodge franchise and Westbury Jeep is still being finalized. Randy Sporn, one of the owners of Westbury Jeep said, "Nothing is changing yet. The dealership is closed but that is all there is. We hope to be a Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge dealership, but it's all involved." He wasn't ready to explain further.
Mr. Davis said Oyster Bay Dodge had about 25 employees and they are now down to about 10. "Some of the workers are at Westbury Jeep. We are operating on a limited basis, so those we couldn't keep we put in touch with Westbury. What facilities they keep operating will be something that will be determined in the future. We are still operating here on a limited basis, open and doing sales, for new and used cars. We are liquidating all of our current inventory. If any one is looking for a deal it's here. Nothing will be held back. Our service department is finishing the work they have here on the premises and will be working as long as it takes to finish. We're not taking on any big work, like transmissions or engines now."
Mr. Davis added, "The economic climate in Oyster Bay is poor. There is no new growth here and every business needs new growth." He is also closing his Huntington used car business. "We are consolidating for the time being. I'm staying in the car business but I don't know where," he said.
When asked if he considered the Hallock location, he said, "The cost is prohibitive. I looked into it as a cursory investigation but from what I have been told it is prohibitive. If you take into account the conditions in Oyster Bay with no new income, no new traffic, it's difficult to stay. It's one thing if you are located on Jericho Turnpike.
"It was always my intention to keep the business here. But if not, to stay in the region to service my customer base. That's why I am in the process of working with Westbury Jeep."
Scott Davis was involved with the community.
He was Oyster Festival chair twice: once with Karen DeVine-Minicozzi and later with Susan Manno. Former Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kathy Wilson said, "He was very easy to work with. He was very pleasant and he, Oyster Bay Dodge, was also a sponsor of the festival. He put his money where his mouth was. He was a really nice man. He also chaired the golf outing several times - once with me and recently with John Specce. He was invested in the community and he will be missed," she said.