Car dealership back in hands of former owner

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2008

FRANKLIN-Blake Bythe is, in is own words, back – as in back in Franklin selling cars after a nine-year absence from a city location.

He finalized a management agreement to buy Sadler Auto Center and placed a new sign on the Armory Drive dealership that reads &uot;Blake is back.&uot;

The move was effective May 5.

Blythe said he might close his car lot on Route 58 in Courtland, maybe as soon as two weeks.

He said he’s taking his personnel to the Franklin location, where, he said, he anticipates &uot;major changes&uot; to the sales and service staff. Some of those changes have already taken place, he said, but he did not elaborate.

Blythe said he still needs to sign an agreement with automakers but plans to sell new vehicles made by Ford and Mercury, as well as used vehicles.

Blythe, ironically, sold the dealership to the Sadler family about nine years ago, he said, so this move is something of a homecoming.

Blythe will operate from the property along Armory Drive. The deal does include the Sadler property facing College Drive, which remains vacant after the family’s Chrysler dealership was closed last year.

&uot;I saw an opportunity,&uot; Blythe said.