Breckenridge Texan

A new era begins as Carstens changes to Bayer Motor Co.

A new era begins as Carstens changes to Bayer Motor Co.
December 05
12:44 2018

For the first time in 37 years, the General Motors dealership in Breckenridge has a new owner. As of Monday, Dec. 3, Carstens Motor Co. is now Bayer Motor Co., a part of the Bayer Auto Group headquartered in Comanche.

“I really think there is a tremendous opportunity here,” said Chas Bayer, the new owner. “I like this local area. We just wanted to expand our footprint a little bit, and it’s kind of a little out of our region from where we’re located. We just felt like it was a mutually great opportunity. Stan (Carstens) wanted to retire, and he obviously wanted for the town to keep the business, so it was very important for him to find a buyer for it.”

Although Stan Carstens has retired, his daughter, Julie Carstens McNett, will continue to work at the dealership in a sales position, where she has been for the past 12 years. The family moved to Breckenridge from Mineral Wells when Carstens purchased Blodgett Motor Co. in 1981.

“He bought this place 37 years ago when he was 27 years old,” McNett said about her dad. “And, he was the youngest dealer in the nation for General Motors. But, he sold his first vehicle when he was 14 years old.”

She said her father chose to sell the company to Bayer Auto Group because of the type of person Chas Bayer is. “He runs his dealership about like my dad does, and he cares about the community as much as we care about Breckenridge,” she said. “So, we knew he would come in and respect and be good for Breckenridge.”

McNett said Carstens and Bayer have had a friendship for a while. “There’s a group of these dealers all in this area, and they’re kind of a family,” she said. “They all know each other and they all respect each other and they all help each other. It’s a small-town, kind of gentleman’s handshake mentality with them.”

Bayer said he got started in the auto sales business 30 years ago in Comanche with the GM dealership. Then, in 2007, he purchased the Ford dealership in Comanche, and in 2015 he expanded his operations to include the Dodge place in Hamilton. Bayer RV in Dublin, Texas, is also part of the group.

Some of his plans for the Breckenridge dealership include increasing inventory, updating the service department with new equipment and offering courtesy transportation. At some time in the future, the company hopes to build a new facility.

“We’re going to grow the business,” Bayer said. “The Carstens family and our family both want to thank the community for their prior patronage of the dealership, and we want to continue to have those relationships with those customers and grow those relationships.”

Bayer said the company intends to be involved in the community, participating in the schools and other events. “We’re very involved in the other markets that we’re currently in, and we certainly want to be involved in this community, as well,” he said.

Lucy Larose, executive manager of the local Bayer Motor Co., echoed that sentiment. “We’re excited to see what we have to offer here in Breckenridge,” she said. “We’re very, very involved in our communities. We do a lot fundraisers; we help give back to the community with certain programs that I’ve established at the other dealerships, and I’d like to continue that here, as well.”

Larose said the culture of the Bayer organization is family. “When I first joined on, almost five years ago, I went around and asked all the employees for one word to describe the culture, and 82 percent of them said ‘family.’ So, I thought that was interesting,” she said.

Bayer is considered a “destination dealership,” Larose said, meaning that the company markets widely to bring in customers from outside the area to shop in the communities where the company operates. “We’re very competitive on our pricing,” she said. “Mr. Bayer is well-versed in the business, and what we have to offer here is working other places.”

One of the changes the business will be experiencing will be the hours of operation. On Monday through Friday, the service department will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the sales office will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays, both the sales and service areas will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Additionally, the service department will handle all types of vehicles, not just the ones they sell, Larose said. “We’d like to, obviously, make sure that all the customers are taken care of, as far as the service side of things, not just personal, but business, fleets and commercial, as well, and small businesses,” she said.

One of the goals of the Bayer company is longevity, Larose said, adding that Bayer Motor Co. plans on staying in Breckenridge.

“We don’t want to just sell you a car and then never see you again,” Bayer said. “We want you to be a customer for life. That’s what’s kept me in business – repeat customers and referrals. That’s been the core of the business.”

 

Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: The staff of Breckenridge’s new Bayer Motor Co. includes, from left, Chas Bayer, owner; Lucy Larose, executive manager; Zach Smith, general manager; Julie Carstens McNett, sales; Steven Simmons, head technician; Aaron Franks, service manager; Brock Voyles, technician; and Marcelo Hernandez, service assistant. Not pictured is Debbie Arellano, office manager. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 

 

 

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