Ray Catena, president of Ray Catena Motor Car Corporation, was recently selected as New Jersey’s 2024 TIME Dealer of the Year (TDOY) Award winner. He was recognized for his industry accomplishments, as well as his commitment to community service. Catena will be honored at the 107th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 3, 2024. The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Catena was chosen to represent the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers in the national competition – one of only 49 auto dealers nominated for the 55th annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
Catena’s career officially started in 1958, when he opened Towne Auto Sales, a retail used car and wholesale operation in Kearny, at the age of 22. He spent the next 18 years honing his knowledge of the automotive industry, which prepared him to move into new-car sales with Ray Catena Chevrolet in Fair Lawn in 1976. Ray’s wife, Elsie, has worked beside him from the beginning of his career and continues to this day. While his company has grown substantially since 1976, Catena is proud of his reputation for excellent customer service. His motto has always remained the same: ‘If you think something is more important than the customer, think again.”
“Ray Catena is one of the most accomplished and respected dealers to ever represent New Jersey in the competition,” said Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ CAR). “His success is the result of his commitment to his customers, his manufacturers, the communities in which his dealerships operate, and his employees. Ray has seen incredible change in the last 60 years and has always adapted without losing his focus on customer service.”
Founded in 1981, the Ray Catena Auto Group has grown to employ more than 1,100 people, representing luxury brands Mercedes-Benz (3 dealerships), Sprinter, Porsche, Infiniti, Lexus (4 dealerships) Land Rover (2 dealerships), Audi, BMW, Jaguar, and MINI throughout New Jersey and New York. One of Catena’s daughters, a son-in-law, and two grandsons are the next generations representing the family enterprise.
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