A new satellite location is adding more options for Gateway-area car buyers.
Planet Auto opened an additional home for its used car inventory this summer in the Lyon District, creating double the inventory for the dealership. Planet Auto owner Brent Tinderholt said the expansion is a testament to customers’ interest in pre-owned vehicles.
“Business has been so strong lately,” Tinderholt said. “We saw a great opportunity on this corner and we got things worked out and leased the space out here.”
Once Tinderholt decided on a location, it didn’t take long to find a person to run it or prepare the spot for used cars.
Tinderholt decided to lease the building, which is shared with Premier Auto Clinic, in June, and opened Planet Auto on Main Avenue with friend Eric Rickerl as the manager, on July 1.
“I was sitting at the gas station looking over here and talked to (Eric) about getting back into the car business,” Tinderholt said. “I made a call and it happened pretty quick.”
Rickerl, who worked previously at Planet Auto and another car dealership with Tinderholt, had been out of the business for about a year before deciding to join Planet Auto. Tinderholt gladly welcomed Rickerl back to Planet Auto, based on Rickerl’s performance during the last stint with the business.
Tinderholt said the company had its best year ever when Rickerl last worked for Planet Auto.
“I have worked with Brent before and when this opportunity came up, especially since I had my own lot to run and giving us double the inventory, I couldn’t pass it up,” Rickerl said.
As the only two full-time employees, Tinderholt and Rickerl admitted their strengths compliment each other. Rickerl has more of a finance and banking background, while Tinderholt focuses on the salesman aspect of the business.
“Obviously when you have two guys and that’s it, we’re able to keep overhead low,” Tinderholt said. “I believe we offer the best product and we’re getting stronger and stronger all the time.”
Planet Auto, which started eight years ago at 2726 Lincoln Way and continues to operate its main facility out of that location, can be reached at 243-0002 at its main building, or 243-6007 at its Main Avenue location.