Mazda dealership starts its engines in Rochester

Listen for the sound of car engines revving up soon at a long-quiet Rochester dealership complex.

On June 1, Rochester car dealer Rob Gregoryhopes to start selling new Mazdacars and used vehicles at 2955 48th St. N.W. The site will also offer repair services.

The former Saturndealership became a Mitsubishifacility that closed in 2011.

The word is that a second car brand soon could be added to the mix, but that deal is still pending.

Now Gregory, who owns Rochester Ford, Rochester Toyota Scion, Rochester Service on Second and the RFT Car Clearance Center, is giving the whole facility a major upgrade as he prepares to open his fifth location in Rochester.


"We've opened everything up. We're giving it a family-friendly vibe," he says.

That includes a children's playroom in the waiting area, 10 flat-screen TVs, a bright decor and decorative fireplace features.

Gregory will focus on service, including quick service lanes like those his business offers at the Rochester Service on Second location.

The new spot is across U.S. 52 from Rochester Ford and the majority of dealerships in "Auto Row."

"It's on the frontage road between Super Targetand Walmart. It really is an awesome location," Gregory says. "And it has great proximity to our Ford location."

Gregor bought the complex on Feb. 1 for $1.75 million. Since then, he's been working out how best to use the site and planning the extensive renovation.

While there will be some overlap with some of his other sites, Gregory expects to have a team of about 20 employees working at the revived dealership.

The site was built and opened as a company-owned Saturn dealership in 1999. Rick Lupient, owner of the Twin Cities-based Lupient Auto Group, bought the Saturn dealership in 2000.


Then in 2009, General Motorsannounced that it was pulling the plug on the Saturn brand. To keep the site rolling, Lupient brought the long-absent Mitsubishi brand back into Rochester in 2010 to replace Saturn.

Unfortunately, that project ran out of gas in 2011.

Lupient Autostill owns Lupient Viking Buick Pontiac GMC Nissanin Rochester near Gregory's Rochester Ford dealership.

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