Recent events happened in Slatington that were 40 years in the making.
Rentschler Dealerships on Route 873 hosted open houses.
First, Greater Northern Lehigh and the Carbon County Chambers of Commerce visited the newly renovated Rentschler Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and Rentschler Chevrolet.
Two days later, Rentschlers and their employees welcomed their customers for an appreciation day, including a family that bought one of the first new cars in 1973.
What began on April 1, 1973 by Frederick Rentschler, a former Chrysler Corp. district manager, was the opening of a Chrysler Plymouth dealership, the former Bryfogle Motors, with their six former employees. Many people thought Rentschler was bold to start his business in such a harsh economy. The tough times made his resolve to succeed even stronger.
When his sons joined him, Fred in 1973, and Rick in 1975, both after graduating from Penn State University, he had the manpower to achieve that dream.
The company has since grown to two dealerships, five franchises, and fifty employees. Mr. Rentschler's dream was to build a business that offered the best in sales and service experience to the Tri-County area.
Plans for the most recent changes began in 2007 and took nearly six years of planning, negotiating with the manufactures, and construction to complete.
With the assistance of Pany and Lentz Engineering (especially Frank Miller), the plans were handed to the contractors. Pencor Construction of Palmerton implemented the Chrysler renovations and Valley Builders of Emmaus brought the Chevrolet plans to life. The use of numerous local subcontractors helped to bring the dealerships into the 21st century.
The work was successfully completed with the financial assistance of TD Bank and The Neffs National Bank.
Four bays and five lifts were added. Both service and parts departments were expanded and comfortable customer lounges have been created. Through all the renovations, the dealerships remained open.
"Our customers depend on our companies for service, parts, and body repairs on their vehicles so closing a department temporarily was not an option," according to Fred.
"Many relationships have been fostered over the years, and we appreciate each and every one" agreed Rick and Fred. "From The Times News owners and staff, the contractors that tirelessly pieced our buildings together, the customers that support us daily, and especially to each and every employee, We thank you! We could not have done it without you!"
With Fred Rentschler's son Greg a part of the management team, the hope is that the dream that began in 1973 will continue for another 40 years.