Business Spotlights

Business Profile: Chris Automotive, Carmel

We are part of The Trust Project

When Chris Rini first opened Chris Automotive, he had a dream of being the best car service shop in town. He never dreamt he’d be this big though and still around 25 years later.

“For the first year in, I didn’t know if I was going to make it five years” Rini said. “I’ve dedicated and committed a lot of time to make it work and to make it happen.”

For a quarter century, Rini has kept his head down, worked his tail off and become a staple in the community and consistent service provider for thousands of car owners every year. On the automotive side, his business offers everything from a full car detail to handling a major car collision fix-up. On the mechanical side, they offer everything from an oil change and inspection to replacing the engine and transmission. Around the clock towing is also offered and every different car size is handled.

In his teen years, Rini started doing work on a couple cars a month out of his parents’ garage and it kept growing from there, while also working at car service businesses all through high school. Soon, he had more work on the side than he could handle and started looking for a garage out of the Pennysaver to call his own.

He found a spot in Brewster (he was so young, his father had to sign the lease) and in a few months, he was open for business. When he first opened, Rini was mainly offering auto body work and a slither of mechanical service. Eventually, he was doing plenty of work in both areas as customers kept requesting the work be done and today it’s a 50-50 split.

Luckily, when Rini first opened, it was about the same time many residents were migrating up to Putnam from Yonkers and the Bronx and looking for a closer place to get their car taken care of.

“I had a lot of customers that were new to the area,” he said. “And because they were new, they had no idea where to go.”

Since 1995, Rini has been in his current location on Route 52. He rented the back building and then in 1999 bought the entire property and put three additions on the grounds. Today, it’s as spacious as any corporate car service business in the region and employs 21 people, some who have been with Rini for more than a decade. Rini hopes to grow the property even further in the future and possibly bring on a couple more employees.

“It’s been a lot of work, it’s been a lot of dedication, it’s been a lot of hours,” Rini said.

Rini stressed the biggest challenge is finding quality employees that are hard working and very capable, which makes him even more grateful for the crew he has. He has contracts with many different agencies and companies that keep everyone busy.

Chris Automotive will be commemorating the 25 years in business on Aug. 20 where they’ll have plenty of activities for the children and families to enjoy all day and giveaways and raffles. Business owners are also invited to the event.

“We have a lot of good customers, I can’t say that enough,” Rini said. “I’ve had customers 20 plus years. I’m working on their kids’ cars, now I’m on third generation.”

Chris Automotive is located at 349 Route in Carmel and its phone number is 845-225-3054.

We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.