This month’s featured yard has been family-owned and operated for four generations and still going strong. URG would like to introduce Lentini Auto Salvage in New Jersey!
“Currently at Lentini’s, we’re the third generation, but as far as being in auto recycling, we are now forth-generation,” says Matt Carman, Lentini’s CEO and URG Board Member. “My great-grandfather owned a yard called Carman Auto Wreckers prior to our family owning Lentini. So technically, Lentini is a third-generation yard – but operated by forth-generation auto recyclers.”
The Lentini facility itself has been around since 1941, but purchased by Matt’s grandparents, Dick & Betty Carman in 1967. In 2012, Matt’s father Darryl purchased Lentini and took over the business. “My Dad obviously still works here, but day to day operations are run by myself, and my two younger brothers Michael, and Daniel. My mom is also there part time. It’s a family affair,” said Carman.
Even though the business started with the Carman family, they have continued to grow their facilities and team as the years have gone by!
“Our Ringoes facility sits on about four acres, so we process cars a little bit differently there. We don’t actually hold cars in our yard anymore. All of our cars at Ringoes come in, are inventory, dismantled, and then they’re crushed right away. As a result, we have a lot of warehousing at that facility. The Port Murray facility we purchased back in 2021 is on about six or seven acres now. We’re still getting that up and going, but there is enough room to have a yard there, so cars are not processed the same way” Matt said. “Back in the early 2000’s, we averaged about 10 to 15 employees. Since my Dad purchased the company in 2012, we’ve just continued to grow, and we’re up to about 60 employees now!”
Throughout their growth, there is one thing that Matt and his family pride themselves on: the cleanliness of their facilities. “My grandfather always gets mad when people call us a junkyard.” Matt says. “Our industry has that black eye, I don’t know if we’ll ever get out of it but we will keep trying.” Providing quality parts and changing that mentality is a key to improving how automotive recyclers are represented.
Over the last 10 to 12 years, Lentini’s has focused on being a very clean facility. Making sure that everything is up to the EPA, DEP, & OSHA standards. Since Matt and his brother Michael took over, they’ve streamlined a lot of processes to make sure they are compliant with all the government entities. “We take a lot of pride in having a really clean facility. We’re probably more on the OCD side. We were born and raised doing it this way and we take a lot of pride in what we do every day.”
As members of URG, ARA, PRP NE, and affiliate PRP members, Matt had the following to say about the industry, “With the ever-evolving technology, the data part of URG has really been huge for us, as far as CCC and all the things that URG offers as far on the data side of it. I’ve been going to the URG conferences since I was a teenager, meeting people, networking. I’m happy that I’ve been a part of it for so many years to see that change and to see where the industry has come from. I look forward to those every year, seeing those people, it’s like a big family!”