General Business

Nielsen Named NJ CAR Chair

Eric Nielsen, owner of Dover Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Rockaway, has assumed the chairmanship of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ CAR). This is the third time Nielsen has led NJ CAR and he succeeds the organization’s 2023 Chairman, Jim Curley, III (Jim Curley Buick GMC).

Nielsen started in the auto retailing business in the late 1970s, working his way up from a part-time lot employee while attending technical school, to a salesman, sales manager and general manager, before becoming dealer principal of Dover Chrysler Plymouth in 1982.

Over the last 42 years, Nielsen has expanded his operation to include Dover Dodge in 1988, Franklin Sussex Auto Mall in 1995, Franklin Sussex Hyundai in 2009 and Nielsen Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in December 2012, a store that has been celebrated, several times, as the top Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram store in New Jersey. In the last 12 years, he has also added Nielsen Ford (Sussex), Nielsen Chevrolet (Dover), Nielsen Mitsubishi (Rockaway), Nielsen Nissan (Stanhope), Nielsen Kia of Newton, Nielson Ford of Morristown and Nielsen Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Morristown to his family of dealerships.

“I love the car business, particularly the relationships I continue to build with my employees and my customers,” said Nielsen. “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished during my career. I’ve been fortunate to find success and it’s given me the opportunity to give back to my community and support those who haven’t been as fortunate as I have. I am proud to, again, serve as Chairman of NJ CAR, representing this critical $40 billion industry in New Jersey.”

Nielsen is involved with many charities and has been a longtime supporter of the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, various pet rescue and adoption services and has been one of the largest supporters of the St. Clare’s Foundation, which supports health and wellness initiatives in Morris and Sussex counties. Nielsen was named “Man of the Year” in Sussex County in 2012 and has served on Chrysler’s National Dealer Council for more than 10 years, including a term as president. He has also served on the NJ CAR Executive Committee for many years in a variety of roles.

“Eric is one of the most dedicated and loyal people I’ve ever had the fortune to know,” said James B. Appleton, president of NJ CAR. “He has lived and breathed the auto retail industry for nearly 50 years and, even as his success has grown, he has never lost sight of the importance of supporting his employees, his customers, and the communities in which his dealerships operate. This is the third time, Eric has stepped up to lead NJ CAR as Chairman, and the Coalition couldn’t be in better hands under his guidance.”

Nielsen lives with his partner, Jean Abate, and has served as a father figure to her children, Brittany and Nicholas. He also has a grandson named Cillian. While Nielsen dedicates many hours to operating his dealerships, he is well-known for taking care of others, going as far as buying homes for close friends to make sure they had a place to call their own. He also enjoys vacationing, playing golf and riding motorcycles with his friends.

NJ CAR’s 2024 Senior Officers also include: Vice Chairman Ronald Baus, Jr. (Spirit Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Swedesboro), Secretary Any Shapiro (Hudson Hyundai Subaru, Jersey City) and Treasurer Ed Barlow, III (Barlow Chevrolet, Delran).

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