Chris Burns, sales and leasing consultant, has been serving the limousine industry for 20 years offering the largest variety of fleet vehicles. Snow aside, Chris showcases a shiny new 2015 Chrysler 300 at the dealership.
DOYLESTOWN, Penn. — As a young man, Fred Beans took a risk and bought a service station with a $5,000 loan co-signed by his mother.
His business sense and innovative marketing ideas fueled his drive to succeed. In 1972, he bought a 25% share of Bill Marsh Ford in Newtown, where his efforts helped double business in the first year. Three years later, he bought his first Ford dealership.
Fast forward 40 years later, the mega-dealership groups consists of 19 different auto brands sold through 14 dealerships that span southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In addition to being one of the largest privately owned auto dealerships in the Northeast, the company also owns Fred Beans Collision Center, AutoExpress (an express lube business), a NAPA Auto Parts store, Autorent, discount car and truck rentals, and Fred Beans Parts Warehouse, the largest inventory of any make OEM parts in the tri-state area.
The company does business along the Northeast corridor and beyond because of its ability to supply the limousine industry with the largest variety of makes and models that cater to fleet needs, such as Cadillac, Ford/Lincoln, Chrysler, Toyota and Hyundai.
Going on 21 years with Fred Beans, sales and leasing consultant Chris Burns says since many of his livery clients come from referrals, it’s important to keep the vehicles in stock.
“It’s more than that; it’s knowing how to build the right vehicles for the industry,” he says. “A lot of other dealers don’t know how to do that.” Operators from across the country will buy from him because he stocks what they want. “We’ll ship it to them, have it driven to them, or they’ll come pick it up — whatever works.
“I try to craft and build vehicles for the industry the way I think operators want that vehicle, rather than having to add something after it’s built,” he says. “I have a few longtime big operators who I talk to often to get their opinions on vehicles so I can order specifics right from the factory.”
A new Ford Transit has been added to the Fred Beans
livery roster that has been gaining momentum since it was introduced last year.
The new Ford Transit Van is catching on with operators, he says. “We call it the ‘Sprinter Fighter,’ and that’s the biggest thing right now.” Burns reinforces the industry position that not one vehicle has stepped up to replace the Lincoln Town Car.
“Some like the MKT, some don’t. Some like the Equus or Chrysler, others don’t. It’s all across the board right now but we have something for everyone that meets the needs of their clients. Some people like chocolate, others vanilla,” he adds.
In addition to selling and servicing new sedans and Transits, Burns says the company also stocks many used vehicles for the industry. Fred Beans has a maintenance department that handles buses up to 42 passenger vehicles.
Fred Beans built his business on a philosophy of providing great customer service, employee development and community enrichment. That three-pronged commitment is still front and center today as the family-run business continues to serve the industry.
Fred Beans Family of Dealerships
Location: 876 North Easton Rd., Doylestown, Penn.
Service: chauffeured vehicle dealerships
Owner: Fred Beans
Contact: Chris Burns, sales and leasing consultant
(215) 348-2901/ext. 120