The old sign is gone at Queens Chrysler, however the don't think the business is going anywhere. There's been a change of branding at the long time Brooklyn business, which will now be known as Queens Auto Clearance. Partnering with the new brand will be auto repair business Carsense.
© Nick Moase Photo
Queens Chrysler has gone through a few changes this past month, with a name change to Queens Auto Clearance as well as auto repair business Carsense taking over the service area. From left is Cory Hartlen, owner of Carsense, and Dennis Lavender, manger of Queens Auto Clearance.
Dennis Lavender, manager of Queens Auto Clearance, says although they are dropping the Chrysler name, they will still be selling new vehicles from that line. Also added to the lot will be Mazdas. However it will mean they can expand their used car selection as well.
Carsense, run by Cory Hartlen, has partnered with dealership and moved into the service area behind the dealership. Hartlen's business will still remain it's own entity with his own staff, however he will service the cars that Queens Auto Clearance brings in as well.
This is the second move for Carsense, which started off six years ago on White Point Road. Back then, the business only had one car bay and no running water. Two years later he moved to the Brooklyn location, formerly Andy's Tire, which doubled his capacity.
This new arrangement though will make things quite roomy. It expands their space to five car bays, plus a large parts storage area.
It was the downturn in the economy that sparked the need for change at the former Queens Chrysler business. Car sales were slow, and it was difficult, not to mention expensive, to keep up with the proper training from the parent company.
At the same time, Hartlen was looking for space to grow his business, but there wasn't much in the community that wouldn't involve a lot of construction.
Hartlen says there aren't many aftermarket shops in town, but there is a strong demand for service. When the dealership went through its changes, he says it was a perfect fit for them. Basically all he had to do was move his equipment in, which was done over a weekend, and reopen Monday morning.
Lavender says they wanted a reliable mechanic and Hartlen needed the space, so it worked out well for both of them.
"We felt going in this direction we could still have our new and used, along with a specialist who really knew his products would be a big benefit," says Lavender. "And from my personal experience, that is hard to come by."
The Queens Chrysler business has been part of the county for around 28 years, says Lavender, and he's been there for 25 of them. The transition is almost finished he says, mostly just getting the signage right, and then they will continue on as a business in the Region of Queens.
"It should turn into a lot better experience all the way around, from sales to service," he says.