Fla. dealerships under fire for storing vehicles in public structures

on Sep12

Tallahassee residents and Florida State University students inundated Napleton Infiniti’s website and social media pages with comments. Photo credit: Yelp user Jake S.

Several Florida dealerships faced criticism over the weekend for storing fleets of vehicles in areas reserved for the public as Irma blasted the region.

Napleton Infiniti in Tallahassee was slammed on social media Friday after parking what appeared to be its entire inventory in a Florida State University structure after the school opened spaces to residents.

Tallahassee residents and FSU students inundated the dealership’s website and social media pages with comments condemning the dealership’s actions.

Napleton’s West Palm Beach Hyundai also faced public ire after stashing more than 400 vehicles in a garage owned by a local shopping center in Palm Beach before the mall could release a statement announcing free parking from Friday through Monday in the area.

Napleton made arrangements with CityPlace’s parking managers for the spaces Tuesday, Lynn Tidwell, general sales manager for the dealership, told the Palm Beach Post Friday.

“Once the hurricane’s over we’ll be open with a dealership with new and certified cars that are not flooded,” Tidwell said. “Hopefully there’s not a lot of flooding but in event it’s as bad as they say its going to be, ours should be safe from the water.”

City officials at West Palm Beach said because CityPlace owns the garage, there’s no reason Napleton wouldn’t be allowed to enter into an agreement with the business.

One Facebook user claimed in addition to Napleton vehicles, other groups stowed inventory in the lot.

“I hope Napleton’s West Palm Beach Hyundai, Roger Dean Chevrolet and any other dealerships who parked in the city garages will be more considerate of their West Palm Beach neighbors in the future,” the user wrote. “They have the money, resources, and ability to move their cars someplace else, while many of the local community do not. Bad form guys, bad form.”

Another dealership in Hollywood, Fla., near Miami, stored 40 vehicles in a public parking garage slated for resident use, the Miami Herald reported. Each vehicle was ticketed, city officials said, though as of Saturday morning the dealership responsible had not been identified.

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