Automotive News 40 Under 40

Jeremy Alicandri

AGE: 31

POSITION: Vice president of corporate development, Habberstad Auto Group, Huntington Station, N.Y.

 
Jeremy Alicandri

Overseeing the construction and launch of a dealership is a huge responsibility for any dealership manager under any circumstance.

It's an even bigger feat when the country is mired in its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

That was the case in 2008-09, when Jeremy Alicandri navigated the opening of Habberstad BMW of Bay Shore in Bay Shore, N.Y. When the construction dust settled, Alicandri was proud of the $15 million project, which turned out to be among the first green BMW dealerships in the country.

He is now overseeing the construction of the dealerships that will replace Habberstad's BMW and Mini stores in Huntington Station, N.Y.

"We've started demolition of buildings, trees and other debris on an adjacent lot, and we've started the foundation," says Alicandri, 31. As vice president of corporate development, he is in charge of Habberstad Auto Group's strategic development, technology and marketing efforts. "It's a big project and will take over a year."

Alicandri, who aspires to own a dealership one day, is an experienced entrepreneur.

In 1998, at age 16, he started SimplyCheap.com, a retail electronics site that grew to generate $5 million in revenue in 2006. Expansion missteps resulted in his closing the business in January 2007, but before that the business was profitable.

At age 18, Alicandri bought a new 2001 BMW 740iL at Habberstad's BMW store in Huntington Station. When the $80,000 car needed service, he asked for a loaner but was told the store didn't provide loaners to customers under 21. He ended up speaking to the store's owner, who was impressed by Alicandri but still refused to give him a loaner.

But in 2003, the dealer hired him as a freelance consultant for Habberstad group.

Alicandri directed setting up the group's used-vehicle listings and parts inventory online and initiated its online marketing efforts.

His involvement with the construction and launch of the Bay Shore store began in 2008 while he was still a consultant. In 2009, he joined Habberstad full time as an executive vice president; he took his current post in 2012.

-- Arlena Sawyers